Oh boy, am I ever embarrassed.

Everyday, we all do something that embarrasses us.  Typically, it’s unintended.  However . . .

Speaking with a friend named Veronica, I learned of an experience where she wanted to buy a new Cadillac back in the ’90s.  She went and looked at the new model (then) the SRX.  She was in love.

The salesman approached her and she declared, “I would like to buy one of these.” The salesman said, “Well, let’s see, what kind of work do you do?” She replied, “I’m a nurse.”

With complete dismissal (as though she wasn’t good enough or make enough money to even qualify to purchase a CADILLAC he told her she wouldn’t and that she should move on.

She shared with me the amount of money (cash) that she intended to put down on the car. I can share with you that it was more than enough to qualify her to purchase the car.  She was embarrassed and hurt by the treatment of her by the salesman. Shame on him.

Shame on us if we ever make someone feel less.  Ever.

When I was a child, my Father told me, as long as your shoes are clean, your clothes are clean as well as  your hands and nails, you’re as good as anyone else in the world regardless of where they live or how much money they have.

A few years later, I found myself homeless as a child of eleven and looking for work to support my Mother, brother and two sisters. Everyone treated me with respect and to a person they all felt bad that they didn’t have any work to offer me.  That was true for all except the one that finally did hire me. That’s a story for another time.

How we make other’s feel should be a measure of who we are.  What are your thoughts?

Garth Brooks says it well; “Love one another.”

One of our newest citizens – Matthew Shiel

US - American Flag with Matt


Matthew Shiel

American Citizen on 2-12-16

It’s my pleasure and my honor to introduce Matthew Shiel, who’s just received his citizenship today!  On behalf of all my family and friends, WELCOME!

I’ve only recently come to know him.  Frankly, I wish we could get more new citizens like Matt.

Let me tell you what I know so far:

Matt was born in England where he went to private school.  His Father is ex-military.  He came to America via Canada where he stopped to get his college education.  He then came to America seeking the “American dream”.

It’s always been fascinating to me that when people come to America, they see opportunity everywhere.  Matt is not an exception.  He arrived with very little.  He’s since owned or partnered in a few successful businesses and employed lots of people.  He is by definition, an entrepreneurs, ENTREPRENEUR.

He’s married to his wife Carla and has had three children. Today, they have two handsome boys. Here’s the story about how they lost their precious daughter, Zora. Life helps to define who we are and allows us to develop our character.  How do parents ever come back from the loss of a child.  We all lose our parents at some point in our life.  We lose friends and even distant relatives.  But children . . . [Read more…]

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…]

Traditional Barber

MikeEvery so often I need a haircut (actually all of them (that is the few I have left).  The man for the job is “Mike.”  I’m well aware that by blogging about this fantastic experience may make my wait for him a bit longer but he deserves your attention.

My first business (besides two paper routes) was as a shoeshine boy inside my local (La Mirada, CA) barbershop.  I went there every Friday night and Saturday.  In exchange for sweeping all the hair up, they let me shine shoes for $.25 cents a pair.  I usually received a 5 or 10 cent tip.

It was here (and later another barbershop in San Diego, CA) that I learned the difference between a barber and a really great barber.  Mike falls into the latter category.  Why?

First, Mike will ask you what you want and not try to make the decision for you.  Next, he asks about me rather than me having to start a conversation or listening to everything about him.  However, I wanted to learn more about him.  I’ll give you the 411 I have in a bit.  Finally, when the experience is almost done, Mike does something that you rarely (if ever) see anymore.  Mike lathers up the back of your neck and shaves you there to insure you have a crisp clean haircut and leave with a great feeling.  He’s an expert at this and especially the “art” of barbering.

Who is he?  Well, he’s not really from around here.  He moved down here from near the Sacramento, CA area.  In addition to “real” barbering (a tradition in his family) he’s also a musician.  He plays a number of instruments and is a big fan of all types of music including opera.  Confused yet?

As a young man starting out in business a lesson I learned was NEVER judge a book by its cover . . . ever.  Never judge someone by the way they look (today).  Does Mike look like nearly everyone from my generation?  NO.  Mike is . . . well . . . Mike.

If you’re in need of the best haircut at a very reasonable haircut, give Good Fellas Barber Shop a try.  Pope (a wonderful barber herself) and others are barbers you’ll appreciate and like.  You’ll come back, again and again.

If you see Mike, tell him “DR says, HELLO.”


Open Letter to President Obama

Dear Mr. President,

You’ve often spoken of leadership.  It’s critical to be considered a leader.  You’ve spoken of being an example, again it’s key to being a leader.  You’ve talked to our nations’ youth about being an example, again we look to our leaders to lead and to be an example.

Today, I received this picture of you in an email.  The message was clear, you have a lack of respect for the position you hold and for the people you’ve been elected to lead.  Mr. President, We The People own that desk that you’ve so casually placed your feet upon.  If you were in school, your teacher would tell you to get your feet of the desk.  If you were in someone else’s home, they would tell you the same.  You Sir, are elected and privileged.

If you truly want us to know that you can lead, then set the example for us all.  YOU must remember that it’s the little things that stick in people’s mind.  Things like respect for the office you hold and the people you serve. Show US some respect by respecting that which we’ve fought for and purchased.  When you disrespect people’s property, you disrespect the people that own that property.

Please Mr. President, keep your feet off of our desk.  You’re in our home.  Treat it with respect.

On behalf of all the Americans that have helped to pay for that desk, the home you live in and one of our Nation’s greatest symbols we simply ask for the respect we deserve.

DR Rawson, Citizen, Taxpayer and Veteran