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Monday, October 22, 2012


I was dreaming the other day, and it popped into my mind, who have I met in my life that I respect and admire most? I'm not talking "perfect" or saintly. As a general rule, I look at people on an even plane - an equal. Few stand out as ones I can look up to. The list is remarkably short....

Full disclosure: My vision is based on what I know of them, what I've seen, and how they treated me and others. They may have serious flaws somewhere, as most of us do, but I either didn't see it or wasn't touched by it.

In no particular order....

My cousin Kevin.

My Uncle Roger.

Harold Banner, trainer and motivating guru.

My friend Dr Bob.

My friend Larry.

My friend Randy.

I am shocked that no women came to mind, as I am in awe of the single Mothers that I have run into and other ladies who were amazing. I can't explain it but this idea sprang from a thought and continues as a thought. No research, no logic, no bribery or sexual favors! Maybe I got too close and found their demons, maybe this is just a guy thing, maybe I am just not smart enough to realize who SHOULD be put on a pedestal.

I am also surprised there is no one in this group that I consider close to how I am. They are all so different from each other as well.... hmmmmmmmmmm..... There might be something to that. Maybe they all have qualities that I wish I had....

Kevin is not human. He gets more done in a week than most people dream about if they had a staff of 10. He is living his fantasy and has the wife, kids, and once even had a family squirrel. He is successful at work, has artistic flair, goes on awesome trips, is smarter than most, and can't be pressured out of his values and beliefs. For these reasons alone, he could be looked upon as Superman by many. On top of it all, he is universally liked. Not just a “good guy” but beloved. I am proud to be related.

My Uncle Roger was, for years, the guy I always wanted to be. He was a wizard when it came to cars, had the toughness of John Wayne, and the respect of everyone in his industry. I am convinced he was more than just smart or brilliant. If he was ever measured, I am sure he would have been classified as genius. He's been gone for many years but I still miss seeing him smile, making him laugh, or just being around him. Even now, the tears flow so easily when I recall being told when he once questioned, how anyone couldn't love me as I was, because my Dad so obviously couldn't or wouldn't.

Harold Banner was the most inspiring leader I ever ran into. I was a new insurance agent who was being successful despite being clueless. He was a trainer who didn't teach the answers, he taught you how to figure out the answers. He was entertaining in a way that would make you sit up and take notice of what this very loud man was saying. It MUST be important....

Harold was previously a manager who took a group of under-performing people and elevated them to heights they would never reach on their own. He was Vince Lombardi in a nicer suit. Harold was a black man that didn't use race as an excuse to fail. He used it as a reason to go far above expectations. He made you feel special, needed, and part of the team.

He not only was wise, but he cared deeply for everyone he worked with. He knew who I was without me saying a thing. He saw I could use encouragement as much, if not more than, the typical struggling agent, and he took an interest in me beyond the couple of days spent at that time. I felt a real sense of loss when he retired a few years later and REALLY felt a loss when he passed away shortly thereafter. The world is much, much less than it would be if Harold were still in it.

Dr Bob is quite a guy. He is a Chiropractor, actor, divorced father, tough to work for, and maybe the smartest guy I know. I have seen him go through a difficult time and be philosophical instead of angry. I have seen him be considerate beyond expectations. I have seen him hurt by people close to him. I have seen him be proud of bowling a great game. Mostly, I see my friend give me time and an ear when I asked and a laugh when he knew I needed it.

I've written about Larry before. He is a guy who is not only compassionate, but intelligent and down to earth. He is comfortable in his life and a great husband, father and fellow human being. He knows when you are down and wants to try and change it. He works hard at his business yet finds the time to give to his church and others. I wonder sometimes if I could be considered community service! We are the most unlikely of friends, yet I cannot imagine anyone I trust more or value more than this Redskins fan. We've had dozens of lunches, in good times and less than good times, and every time, without fail, I feel lucky to call Larry my friend.

I debated adding Randy to this group. It isn't that he wouldn't deserve it. He is one of the most honest, trustworthy, and hard-working guys you would ever meet. It's because I know him so well. After hundreds of meals together, working for years together, and trying to understand how he can be a Yankees fan, we have a history that I have with NO ONE. How could I NOT put him on this list? We went through a divorce at the same time, shared stories more times than I can count, and spent enough time together to appreciate our differences. While I am the village idiot, Randy is the Mayor. The guy who keeps things going, set in his ways, and resolute in his morals. He has led a life he is proud of, a career he can be proud of, and hopefully can be proud to call me his friend.

I doubt there is a single human being that feels the same way about me as I do about these folks. It's OK. I have way too many flaws and am much too open about them.

Or more likely, I am just not worthy (yet) Registered & Protectedthe copyright law

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