Ann Kellogg Helms was raised in Central Florida and is a founder of a local group dedicated to celebrating and preserving the history and heritage of Orlando called Growing Up In Orlando Before Disney. When The Mouse came to town in 1971, a small, sleepy community suddenly was forced to grow up fast. Ann was one of the few who realized the importance of saving and remembering the friendships and the memories of the way we were. The following is some thoughts she recently posted on the Growing Up In Orlando Before Disney Facebook page and I think she nailed it!
“There was a time when the world was enormous: spanning the vast, almost infinite boundaries of your neighborhood. The place where you grew up, where you didn’t think twice about playing on someone else’s lawn. The street was your territory that occasionally got invaded by a passing car. It was where you didn’t get called home until after it was dark. And all the people, and all the houses that surrounded you were as familiar as the things in your own room.”
“Some people pass through your life and you never think about them again. Some you think about and wonder what ever happened to them. Some you wonder if they ever wonder what happened to you. And then there are some you wish you never had to think about again. But you do.”
On where life leads you
“Like I said, things never turn out exactly the way you planned. Growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day, you’re in diapers; next day, you’re gone. But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul. I remember a place… a town… a house… like a lot of other houses; a yard like a lot of other yards; on a street like a lot of other streets. And the thing is… after all these years, I still look back… with wonder.”
I love Thanksgiving. It gives us a chance to stop and think about all that we have to be thankful for. But its not just about thanks. Thanksgiving is really two words, thanks and giving. Be thankful, but also be giving. Pay that thanks forward by giving.
Another thing I love about Thanksgiving is that its a holiday far less commercialized than Christmas, so there’s less clutter to get in the way of the real meaning of Thanksgiving. Even in trying times we have so much to be thankful for but its not WHAT we are thankful for, its WHO we are thankful for. Its not about the latest I-phone or HD TV or that new job or new car—its about people! We give thanks to those we love, friends, family, coworkers, in church and in school. The people we interact with along life’s journey are the most important things in life. Be thankful for how you can make their lives better in some small way and keep the giving in Thanksgiving.
Oh, and don’t forget the one who made it all possible, don’t forget to thank the Lord first!!
Small Business Saturday is this Saturday. Its a chance to show support for your local mom and pops and pump some bucks into the economy at places other than Wal-Mart and McDonalds and Starbucks and I hope you all do.
Its kind of ironic though that Small Business Saturday was started by a big company but hats off to American Express!! #ShopSmall
Now that all the World Series hoopla has finally died down, I’m sorry Mets fans, but I have to say as a baseball fan growing up in the Heart of the Midwest, I couldn’t be prouder of my Kansas City Royals.
Winning the World Series after a 30 year drought gave so much joy to so many people, young and old, black, white, Hispanic, baseball fan or not—the Royals brought them all together in a sense of community pride. And that’s what all pro sports should be about—inspiration!. These guys are the best at what they do and they are well paid to do it but there’s more to it than riches and glory. Set a good example and inspire people. Show them almost anything is possible if you work together and you want it bad enough. That’s the most important thing. Few teams in any sport have the tenacity, the focus and the Yogi Berra, “It ain’t over till it’s over” mentality to come back from long odds to win it all like the Royals did. And it wasn’t just one guy, it was all of ’em!!
Kansas City has always had an inferiority complex. It’s the smallest city in Major League Baseball and the rest of the world considers us a bunch of yay-hoos in the middle of nowhere far from the glamour of the east and west coasts. The ultimate flyover city. Some people still think they stop rush hour traffic to run cattle to the stockyards. Let ’em think that. We know better.
For years since their last World Series title, the Royals could barely muster a winning season, let alone a playoff appearance and the fans stayed away in droves. They were always near the bottom in attendance and payroll and that always spells trouble. There was even talk of moving the team not so long ago but the Royals front office lead by general manager Dayton Moore stuck it out. They realized that good teams can’t be bought, they have to be developed. Find and nurture hungry young talent—let ’em develop and then let ’em play!!
Last year the Royals surprised everybody and took San Francisco to game seven before losing the World Series and that lit a fire under not just the team, but the fan base too. This past season, the Royals set attendance records. It was fun to go to the ballpark again because of course everybody loves a winner, but especially because the fans believed in them again. The team connected and inspired and it doesn’t get any better than that!
I recently celebrated a milestone in the rock world, just as the Beatles predicted, I finally turned 64!
I grew up with this Beatles song in a time far removed but never gave it too much thought because it always seemed so far into the future. But now that I’m actually 64, I guess I finally caught up with that future and I see it in a whole new light.