Archive for the ‘More Goodbyes’ Category

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REFLECTIONS ON A SEPTEMBER WEEKEND…

September 27, 2010

This past weekend definitely did its best to dispel any images of tranquil, crisp, colorful autumn days that generally mark the beginning of that time of year that has grown to be my favorite – September to December. Instead, it was tumultuous from start to finish!

The rains of last week wrecked havoc and I watched with horror the footage of the out-of control Zumbro River and impacted communities along its path…from Pine Island to Oronoco, White Bridge, and on towards Zumbro Falls and Hammond…names so familiar to me – not only from memories of my youth, but also because my sister and her husband live on that river at Oronoco– high above the raging current.

Meanwhile, the aftermath of those same storms will impact us locally this week, as the Minnesota River carries the run-off northward to us with crests on the Mississippi that will cancel activities on the river that were planned as part of the “We Are One” Dakota Nationwide Conference with which many members of our “Telling Native Stories “ group have been assisting.

One old friend is dealing with the last days of a dear pet, while for another from those BI days, life’s journey ended in hospice and today we will remember her well.

Meanwhile, I, like the Zumbro River, am raging over the pettiness of a one-time friend and vendor who for the last 7 weeks has done his own raging because he did not get a linen order from me…enough said until some time in the future when I am sure I can speak of it without showing the disdain I feel today for the self-centered, immature campaign he has launched to discredit the event, me, and my team. Who knew a $700 order was so important? Because that is all he could have competitively delivered of that order in the one week timeframe we had to source, rent, ship and deliver within our tight cost and color parameters for an event for 5000 people. And who knew that the Apres-who did get the order along with the order for 225 hi-tops, is no longer considered a local ISES member – at elast in this man’s twisted mind. I am reminded of a favorite quote from my college days – which in this new context, takes on new meaning – “We Are Such Little Men When the Stars Come Out.”

Add to that, the issues of the day from politics, to reform of education in Minnesota, to Target’s incorrect use of the word “grocery”, to learning that old perfume should not be disposed of in the trash or down the drain because it is a hazardous material and should be dropped off at the country household hazardous waste facility, all trumped by the fact that today is a day of celebration known as “Family Day: A Day To Eat Dinner With Your Children”. Who Knew?!!! And what does that say about our world?

Thank Goodness, the weekend ended at the Guthrie with a wonderful performance of “The Master Butchers Singing Club” followed by good conversation and a glass of wine in Sea Change as a friend and I fondly remembered another dear friend, now living in California who had introduced Louise Erdrick and her books to both of us. Thank you, Rhonda Couchigan!

Hopefully, those good feelings at the end of Sunday are what extends into the week before us, as September straightens out and gives us the temperatures, blue skies, colors and glory of a Minnesota Fall that we expect!

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ANOTHER SAD GOODBYE TODAY

November 4, 2009

Over the past two years, I have said goodbye to four good friends – three of whom were colleagues of mine during my career at Carlson Marketing Group.

Today, after some years of suffering through a corporate terminal illness, CMG itself ceased to exist as it was sold to Groupe Aeroplan.

For all those who led the way in the early days as the company morphed from the original Gold Bond Stamp Company to PIC to Carlson Marketing and Motivation, plus a small fledgling collection of Radisson Hotels, I am sure this could not have been foreseen.

For me and perhaps many others that joined the team as part of the second generation that under the leadership of Skip Gage and Jim Pfleider, grew the company from $20 million to almost $1 billion in 15 years, this is a sad time – as we face the reality that all those efforts seem to have been for naught.

Perhaps there is solice in the fact that our efforts helped fund the purchase of Ask Mr. Foster and First Tours (forerunner of CWT) as well as provided the profits that funded the growth of Radisson Hotels into Carlson Hospitality.

And for those who came after us, they became the ultimate sacrifice as they were spun off for $175 million to provide capital to shore up their sister companies.

“Carlson Companies CEO Hubert Joly said selling Carlson Marketing is a positive move because it frees up resources that will help Carlson Companies continue to evolve as a major hospitality and travel company.”

We can only hope this last infusion will be sufficient to finally do the trick. Meanwhile, my best wishes to the current generation as you move forward into your next life. Glad you will still be here in Minnesota – at least for now.