A Porch is the Smile on the Face of a House

front porchRead Robert Reed’s wonderful article, The Front Porch Was Like A Perfect Postcard, in the Arizona Antique Register. From the article:

“The front porch is still remembered in songs like one John Cougar Mellencamp sang, ‘Grandma’s on the front porch with a Bible in her hand, sometimes I hear her singing take me to the promised land.’ And, too, in vintage postcards—but it is seldom seen anywhere else.

“The porch is the smile on the face of a house. When you meet a person for the first time, a warm, inviting smile can put you instantly at ease. Smiling makes people want to be around you and get in on
the fun. A smile is the light in the window of your face that tells people you’re at home. Andy Rooney once said that, “If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.” The same goes for a front porch. Even in the middle of the night when no one is around it continues to smile its welcoming expression attesting to its genuineness. When I am out motorcycling I love riding through small town communities and looking at all the old houses huddled up close to the road with only the sidewalk separating them from me. Though a stranger to the town, as I ride past the porches I purposefully slow up to smile back at them and thank them for making me feel welcome.” Garrison

Life is about Improvisation

Erroll GarnerProducing legendary American jazz pianist and composer Erroll Garner for London Records taught me as much about creativity and defining success in life and career as it did about his musical genius.

Born in Pittsburgh on June 15, 1921,  Erroll began playing piano at the age of three. Like most kids, he didn’t write his goals down on paper or construct a rudimentary business plan; he simply played. He was self-taught and “played by ear,” never learning to read music. He appeared on KDKA radio at the age of seven and by the ripe old age of 11 was performing on Allegheny riverboats. In 1947 played with Charlie Parker on the “Cool Blues” session. Tall on talent but short in stature (5’2″), Erroll performed while sitting on a stack of phone books. An instrumentalist, his grunting and groaning vocalizations can be heard on his recordings and are his signature while his musical style is a combination of using his right hand to play behind the beat while his left strummed a steady rhythm. His musical sense of humor came from his improvised introductions to pieces that had nothing to do with the songs they set up. His composition “Misty” is a jazz standard.

Erroll Garner’s s life and legacy taught me:

  • Follow your passion without compromise.
  • Life is about improvisation.
  • Don’t wait to learn it to live it. Live your passion every moment and keep learning along the way.
  • Don’t play to convention. Do what comes naturally and feels “right” to you.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously. Keep your sense of humor and share it with others.

2015-04-25 10.16.21Bass, Electric Bass – Bob Cranshaw
Congas – Jose Mangual
Organ – Norman Gold
Percussion – Grady Tate
Piano – Erroll Garner
Producer – Garrison Leykam, Martha Glaser
Tambourine – Jackie Williams (2)

Disrupt You! is a Must Read for Entrepreneurs

Disrupt You book coverDynamic entrepreneur and intrepreneur Jay Samit has been described by Wired magazine as “having the coolest job in the industry.” He has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for startups, sold companies to Fortune 500 firms, transforms entire industries, revamps government institutions, and for three decades continues to be at the forefront of global trends. And, in his new book, Disrupt You! Jay tells you how to master personal transformation, seize opportunity and thrive in the era of endless innovation.

Buy Disrupt You! It’s the single best investment you can make in yourself. Check out Jay’s website and follow him on Twitter and Instagram

“What makes Garrison stand out from other radio and podcast interviewers is his unique ability to draw out the best stories from his guests.  His masterful preparation melts away any distance between the guest and the audience until one feels like they are sitting in a booth at a favorite diner listening to dear friends reminisce after years apart.” Jay Samit, business icon, entrepreneur thought leader and author of Disrupt You!

Can You “Fathom” Your Company Culture as Worth Fighting For?

BrentBrent Robertson and the team at Fathom do one thing and they do it better than anyone else: they work with business leaders to design futures worth fighting for.  Period.
While business journals make the claim that culture somehow arrives at the corporate doorstep only after structures and decisions are put in place, West Hartford, CT-based Focus is re-hitching the horse to the front of the performance wagon and showing leaders how to drive powerful, culturally-driven outcomes.
Fathom logoWith Fathom’s Design Day experiential kick-starter and a menu of powerful transformational programs that can deliver quantifiable results, any manufacturing, architectural, construction or engineering firm can re-find and reshape its identity to develop strategies for transforming their business and bottom line. Fathom facilitates casting new light on any company’s core brand identity and helps leaders at all organizational levels find their way back to their own greatness; a greatness not buried under features, benefits, prices and promotions but living and breathing in their own business DNA.
Do you know what your industry and clients think of you?
Kick-Start Your Most Critical Initiative In One Day
Fathom your company’s culture as worth fighting for…and get in the ring with your gloves on!

6 hours, 42 minutes and 8 seconds

Marmon Wasp 2Given my passion for motorized two- and four-wheel nostalgia, it’s great to see a company like Marmon Holdings’ heritage of innovation and quality exemplified by Ray Harroun and his Marmon Wasp. Ray is best known for the 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 8 seconds it took him to win the first Indianapolis 500 automobile race, at an average speed of 74.6 mph.

Marmon WaspA part-time racer, Ray Harroun was foremost an engineer for the Marmon Motor Car Company, an early 20th century producer of passenger cars that are frequently cited as exemplars of the golden age of the American automobile. He designed the six-cylinder Marmon Wasp, so named for its yellow and black color scheme, from stock Marmon engine components. Unlike most racecars of the period, the Wasp was built with a smoothly-cowled cockpit and a long, pointed tail to reduce air drag. That little item in your car called the rear-view mirror? That was Ray’s idea!  

Not long after Mr. Harroun’s return to Indy, Marmon-Herrington Company, a successor to the old Marmon Motor Car Company joined a growing group of businesses that had been acquired by brothers Jay and Robert Pritzker. At the time, the group included a dozen businesses, but lacked a name. In 1964, Marmon was chosen to connote excellence in engineering and performance. 

Kudos to Marmon!