As we wander through this life, it is amazing how one little thing we see or do can change your life.
One such thing happened to me when I was a senior at Eastern Kentucky College in 1950.
During spring break, I went west to Olathe, Kan., for a visit with my aunt, Mattie Bethe Jones. One day while she was working I found a nice golf course and enjoyed 18 holes of golf.
After play, I was sitting at the bar enjoying a beer and I spotted an outdated calendar hanging on the wall behind the bar. This calendar really hit the nail on the head about how I feel about life.
I asked the bartender if I could have the calendar and he took it down, handed it to me and said, "By my guest."
That calendar was titled, "I do not choose to be a common man." It is framed and hanging on the wall over my desk in the office.
This is the content of that calendar:
It is my right to be uncommon -- if I can. I seek opportunity -- not security. I do not wish to be kept a citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me.
I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed.
I refuse to barter incentive for a dole. I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.
I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout. I will never cower before any master nor bend to any threat.
It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say, this I have done.
All this is what it means to be an American -- by Dean Alfange
This calendar really impressed me and it set the pattern for my life. I stayed in college until final examinations, then dropped out of school and took over my father's Honey Krust Bread route in Irvine, Beattyville, Booneville and a lot of out-of-the-way side road stops.
The bread route was hard work, but a lot more profitable than teaching.
At that time Eastern Kentucky College was basically a teachers college and I did not want to be a teacher. My sister graduated from Eastern in 1941 and she was teaching in Louisville for $110 a month.
I worked the mountain route a couple of years and did well, but in 1953 competition got so fierce that commission routes could not compete against company routes because of stale bread. My father and I gave the routes back to the company.
It was a great learning experience and I met a lot of nice people.
In 1955, I left Richmond and moved to Wisconsin and decided to take the calculated risk. In the next 30 years, I was involved in opening over 100 businesses for corporations that I started or was involved with.
They were mostly One-Hour Martinizing Dry Cleaners, Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants and Zantigo Mexican restaurants.
I had some winners and some losers. I have had a great, exciting life and have met many wonderful people along the way. I wouldn't change it for the world.
Thank you, Dean Alfange.
Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand-new end -- Carl Bard
Until next time ... live, love, laugh and learn, Glenmore
Glenmore Jones is a Richmond native, World War II veteran, EKU graduate, entrepreneur, has written Golf News and historical articles for the Richmond Register for 23 years, loves life and adventurous things.