Politics has turned into armed camps, the economy is hurting, the world is getting hotter and we have too many people. Woe be unto us. Organized religion is less popular than ever before, Europe is on the ropes. Woe be unto all of us!
Kind of hard to escape, huh? So, when I thought this topic up, how could I even consider it to be a real question. I mean, how can you debate other than that things are bad?
Yet, here are two of the finest men I know, gentlemen and obvious optimists both:
This is John McKay (pronounced muh-KYE) the owner of South Pacific Seed out of Methven, New Zealand, near Christchurch. John didn’t know us from Adam and Eve, but helped us arrange our trip to New Zealand when Lafawnda was studying over there. A patient of the Lady Fossil had known him when he was in college and gave us his name and told us to contact him and mention her. We did and the rest is history.
John arranged the car rental for us and told us the best route, things to see and timing for our visit to the South Island. Then he told us to contact him once we were close to Methven.
Little did we know that John had accumulated wealth by working in the fields as a farmer his whole life, hooking up with the right people in Australia, organizing the wide area farmers and developing a magnificent seed company. To give you an idea of some of the scale, John’s company supplies half of the radish seeds to the entire world! And that is only part of what he processes.
We expected to go to a hotel or motel and come to find out he was putting us up in his home. He gave us a complete tour of the plant, found out I had grown up in Kansas and took us to the World Plowing championships – and I will tell you more about that in another post, trust me – and we had a fantastic time! He is now in the process of helping people from Christchurch after the big earthquakes they had there.
Two observations about John: 1) he hasn’t changed with success. Everyone told us that was true and it sure looked that way to us. and 2) he really would think you a coward for being a pessimist. He is used to hard work and he absolutely loves people and the world around him. See that look on his face? That is typically how he looks and it is returned in spades by all those he meets.
The following gentleman has been a friend for years:
George Hurley, shown here with his wife Judy on their 40th Anniversary, live in the Sierras now. They came from right here in our hometown and George spent his career running warehouses for Kellogs. Strong as an ox and more fit than most Olympians, George now spends his time in his 60’s clearing his land and the land of his neighbors. His energy is limitless.
George has seen hard times and I won’t violate his privacy by letting you in on them, but suffice it to say that he could justify a dour outlook. But, it just isn’t in his nature. I just can’t help feeling good around George, whether he is coaching kid, showing me his railroad collection or sitting back in his wine cellar deciding what would be the perfect beverage for the evening.
So, is it so simple? No, it is individual. George never shied away from the reality of his son in Iraq and John doesn’t shy away from helping those unhomed from Christchurch or helping his wife recover when she was hit by a car and almost killed. They are both willing and able to take on the needs of the day, whether they be pleasant or not.
However, when these guys are there … it is ALWAYS more pleasant!
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Come on. Get going!