Preston M Jones, PM, 33, PP

October 25, 1994 I married into the Jones Family. I had met and fallen head over heels in love with their daughter Margaret.  The wedding was held in their home. I hadn’t just found a wife but a set of parents as well.  This is Dad’s story:

Preston Merwin Jones, “Press” to all his friends, was born October 12, 1923 in L.A., CA. He attended L.A. Tech. High School and he had plans to attend U.S.C. but opted to enlist in the Navy at 17 with his Dad’s permission. He was in the Navy for 4 years serving and protecting a variety of islands in the Pacific. Eventually, toward the end the war, he was stationed on Guam. He said, “The island had been bombed so badly that there wasn’t a building standing.”

He was very proud of his parents. He felt they sacrificed a lot for his Sister and him. He would always say, “My Mom was a short Italian.”

Preston worked for the Railroad upon his return from WWII. He found his true calling as a salesman selling asphalt for Douglas Oil that became ConocoPhillips and upon retirement from them he sold the services of an asphalt company until he retired from all “work” at exactly age 65. He then spent almost all his free time working in or leading Masonic organizations and gardening.

In 1951 at the request of Ray Echles, his Brother-in-law, he became a member of Hollywood Masonic Lodge #355. In his 60 plus years as a Mason he’s been the Master of his Lodge, a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason (40+ years (where he helped establish a childhood language clinic for Children suffering from Aphasia)) and the head of all local York Rite Organizations. In addition, he was a national officer in the Red Cross of Constantine, a very prestigious “invitation only” organization.

He was a Shriner and in 1981 he served as the head of the organization as Potentate for Long Beach, Orange County, Riverside and San Bernardino County. He also served on the Board of the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Los Angeles. He and his wife Marvel were heavily involved in Masonry and especially the charitable efforts of Masonry on behalf of children.

He married Marvel Leah Millhouse in 1949 in Las Vegas, Nevada with a few friends in attendance. They lived in Long Beach, CA and in the same home for the past 49 years. Their marriage lasted until June 22, 2012 when his wife, Marvel suddenly passed away.

Preston passed away in his sleep at the age of 91 on August 16, 2015 . He would have been 92 on the 12 of October; my wife, Margaret is the only living relative.  With his passing, it’s an end to an erra.

He’s best described as a man who served others, carried nothing about honors and was “hale hearty and well met.” His nature was to joke with and have fun with people. He was a people person.

Dad always said, “keep moving.”  He suffered but never told anyone about his arthritis. He always said, “keep moving.”

His favorite saying was: “Life is short.”  Even though he lived to be 91, he still felt life was short.

Rest in peace Dad . . . rest in peace.

4th of July

Most of you readers here know that I’m a Vietnam Veteran.  Our daughter Morgan served in the Army.  Our son Doug retired from the Army every inch a soldier, having served in Kosovo, Iraq and Pakistan.  Each of them are certainly Veterans and this post today honors them and all those that have fought for our Freedom.  It is NOT FREE.

I received the following via email from my wife Margaret and added a few of my own experiences and comments:



I hope there isn’t anyone on my list of friends and acquaintances that won’t at least acknowledge (to themselves):

Happy 4th of July





KEEP IT LIT!!!          KEEP IT LIT!!!

For all of our military personnel, where ever they may be.


Please support all of the troops defending our country.  God bless our military personnel who are protecting our country for our freedom.  Thanks to them and their brothers-in-arms from all the proceeding conflicts and wars of the past, we can celebrate the 4th of July.


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We must never forget who gets the credit for the freedoms we have and for which we can be eternally grateful.

US Flying Flag


I have watched others, including a young Marine, salute the flag and then stand at ease.  I looked at them in uniform – so young, so tall and so proud.  With his hair cut square and eyes alert; he’d stand out in any crowd.


As a parent I wondered how man men and women like him had fallen through the years.  How many died on foreign soil; how many Mothers’ tears?


How many pilots’ planes were shot down?  How many died at sea?  How many foxholes became soldiers’ graves?  How many are still missing from every conflict and war?



Many of us have laid in our bunks listening to the sound of Taps in the night.  Everything is still.  I listened to the bugler play and felt a sudden chill.  I and many others before me have wondered just how many times the sound of Taps had meant “Amen”, when a flag had draped over yet another coffin of a brother, sister, mother, father or friend.


I’ve thought about the graveyard at the bottom of the sea and the unmarked graves in Arlington.  This past week I visited a National Cemetary and saw this:


Enjoy your Freedom and God Bless Our Troops.

Feel free to share  comment or thought about someone you’ve lost or someone that has served.  They will all be posted.

Happy Freedom – the 4th of July.


The languages we speak

The languages of the world.
The languages of the world.



Years ago I was invited by King Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia to review their oil reserves.  After a whirlwind tour of the country we met back at the main offices of the Armco facility that controlled production for the entire country.  There we met the oil minister (Ahmed Zaki Yamani and a number of other people.

Our goal was to better understand the oil reserves and how they would be drawn down over the years to come.  The meeting began early in the a.m. and went on past lunch.  Whereupon the oil minister asked that we all take a break.  Not that kind of break.  Instead, he asked that everyone around this very large conference table to: restate their name, their title, the company they were with, where they went to school, the degrees they held and finally the number of languages they spoke.

I was the invited guest sitting immediately to the left of the oil minister.  Conversation worked its way around the table.  There were people from all over the world and most held multiple degrees including Ph.Ds and spoke many languages.

I knew I was going to be embarrassed, I just didn’t know to what extreme.  When it was my turn I answered all of the questions and when it came to the languages I spoke I answered, “I speak English.”

Almost immediately, a chap from England (the U.K.) said, “Excuse me Sir, you do not speak English, you speak American!” [Read more…]

Change – Will it work for you?

When should you make a change?  Should it be at age 30, 40, 50 or late in your 60s perhaps even older?

There are so many people that need to make a change in their life.  Are you one of them?  Today, I’m featuring the well known author and speaker, Robert Kyosaki.

Years ago I taught marketing at the college level.  I was also fortunate enough to speak to students in high schools, colleges and universities on that very subject.  Why marketing?  If you’re going to work for someone else, then sales and marketing (in many cases) will give you a salary and commission.  This is an opportunity to tie your financial position directly to your efforts.  However, you’re still working for others.  If you’re an independent salesperson representing a company in the marketplace, then your commission only income is tied to your personal efforts.

Back then (when I was teaching in college), sales was a given.  Everyone understood, no sales, no income.  Marketing was new (I know, I just dated myself) and people were wondering what’s the difference.  Sales is where the rubber meets the road.  The salesperson speaks directly with the decision maker.   Marketing has more to do with the analytics of the marketplace so that the salespeople that work for them can more easily identify and target their prospects.

At that time, I taught that Network  (a.k.a Multi-level or MLN) Marketing was the best way to go.  Back then, the biggest and most well known company was Amway.  Today, people that built their Amway business many years ago are still receiving the benefits.  While their efforts have long since diminished, the income has steadily increased because of the people they brought into their business.

Everyone talks about the money that artists like Garth Brooks, Maroon 5 or even Michael Jackson make.  They create and sing one song and it generates income every time someone buys it.  Actors and actresses make money every time their image or voice is seen or heard. There are other examples of a recurring revenue (a.k.a. residual) stream.   What’s so special about those people vs. you?  You may not sing, but you know people.  You may not act but you know people.  You may not write but you know people.  People just like you.

Network Marketing is built on two very solid principles.   [Read more…]

Corporate Giving – The Charitable Component of Profit


Perhaps it started with the old testament (Malachi 3:8) or a feeling that you had down in the pit of your stomach that said, “I’m so blessed, I should bless the lives of others.”

A friend named Jeff first brought the idea of corporate giving to my attention.  Jeff’s idea was that every corporation has a responsibility to the community as a whole.  To this end, the company we started in 1999 gave money to Habitat for Humanity so that homes could be built for those in need.

One of the great things that Habitat insists on is that there is NO free lunch.  Yes, they will build you a home but you will help build it and you’ll pay for it so that others can have homes.  The new home owner’s payment will fit your their ability to pay.

The concept of “teach a man to fish” is important. We all feel bad about those in need of food and/or the basic necessities of life.

As a young boy at the age of 10 I found myself homeless along with my younger Brother and two Sisters.  My Mother didn’t have the skills to be anything other than a Mom.  She did her best but the responsibility to provide fell upon me as a the oldest child. [Read more…]