Oregon gone

soon a dozen frontiersmen, each venturing out from the base camp as far as we can go through swamp and foothill within our own skulls where the bull moose and grizzly bear and horned owl call and sinister tribes compel strenuous rambling if we were to preserve our own thinning scalps, concede the unmarked route will force us to doubt our own skill and remove all excuses to others have beaver pelts or gold dust or speak of cannibals . affectionately


Death takes a big toll on a family firm

A huge challenge to family-owned businesses arises in the passing of one generation to another. The unanticipated death of the patriarch or matriarch in his or her prime can wreak havoc on the company, even if inheritance tax liabilities aren’t overwhelming. Sometimes the heir apparent isn’t the best option, not all of the heirs want to be part of the operation, or bitter rivalries emerge. Getting through the fourth generation, with a spreading number of family members and interests, can determine the fate of the enterprise. As I saw in the newspaper industry, most nameplates sold out to media chains at this point, losing much of their underlying local connection in the process.

Do you know of any businesses that fit this description? 

Straight ticket

uncommonly wanting to spend lots of money, get a new wardrobe, hot sneakers like David’s Hawaiian number, drove to a pseudo-alpine village with its sidewalk cafe, offbeat card shop (guess what I found) and the bookshop where that movie script jumped to my hands, the post office to mail packages and notes addressed and sealed a week ago in Virginia but neglected to send off, at last, then, somewhat poorer, more piles of shuffling, for starters, and a nap before the grocery, dropping off shirts at the laundry, photocopying foliage outside my window in just one day in the life of a bachelor missing you dearly

Margin to margin

to various degrees in a free-fall through much of this trip with a few encountering a work-and-worship community much less a fresh voice, at least, oh, well, I get goosebumps every time I reread the final pages and think of all the possibilities we lost . for whatever that’s worth, don’t forget, when storm clouds appear, prime the pump . peace & love, all the same

Hail, Xenia

assuming you’ll never see frail fragrant blossoms pendulous as an archway in the museum I parachute from our embrace so wide open I’ll drift a mile in the bobbing fullness of an eggshell antiquity . clearly, our love of your plump dreams would feast, yes, pray, at last lifting these arms together . maybe nothing more than the snap of the cord could be lovelier

Oh, brother! Watch out when he’s bossy

When a family-owned business has two siblings at the helm, how effectively they resolve conflicts – or ignore them – is crucial. As one well-known New England brother has said, he learned that family was more important than always being right. In their case, it worked. They even became TV stars in their ads. I suppose there were other corrective mechanisms behind the scenes or ones that would kick in later. We’ll see the biz school case study in time, no doubt. On the other hand, differences can also lead to lawsuits, the breakup of the company, even its sale to rivals, perhaps followed by a longstanding refusal to speak to each other. We’ve also seen those headlines.

Do you know of any businesses like this?