Posts by Kerry Patterson

Speaking the Unspeakable

The following article was first published on March 22, 2006. A couple of decades ago, I started a long and painful battle of trying to help save American manufacturing. In a quest to find out what needed to change in the good old U. S. of A. where companies were routinely losing jobs and market …

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Cream Puffs and Confidence

“You know what I’d like for dessert tonight?” I asked my mother one morning as I hovered over a bowl of cereal. “Does it look like I’m taking orders?” Mom replied with a smile. I was twelve at the time, so I wasn’t completely blind to social graces. I knew that it wasn’t polite to …

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Tommy, I’m Counting On You

Yesterday, my grandson, Tommy, asked his mom (our daughter Christine) if later that day, he could watch a TV show that was probably more suited to his older brother than it was to him. Undecided, Christine replied, “Maybe,” and returned to making lasagna. A few minutes passed before Christine felt a pull on her sleeve—it …

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The Road Less Traveled

Nowadays, teenage boys have it made. Most have access to man caves and media rooms that serve as perfect hangouts. When I was thirteen, you had to leave home to find anything remotely similar. In my case, a hundred yards down the alley behind our house, nestled against the local college’s northern boundary, lay a …

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The Year Without a Christmas Tree

In the late 1980s, Lynn, a friend of the family, approached my wife, Louise, with an urgent request. She explained that she had signed a contract to run the Santa Claus photo concessions at ten different Los Angeles-area malls. After weeks of searching, she had found nine managers but was desperate to have Louise take …

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Thanksgiving: Our Second Favorite Holiday

Thanksgiving is an interesting phenomenon. It always comes in at number two in the holiday popularity polls, just behind Christmas. That’s a pretty high ranking when you consider how humble the holiday is. It doesn’t come with the ghoulish decorating or the fun-filled house-egging that we enjoy every Halloween. It doesn’t come with the raucous …

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Kindergarten Divas

When my daughter Becca prepared to teach kindergartners for the first time, she came to me for advice. Given that the students I had been teaching for the past thirty years were in grad (not grade) school, I told her I had nothing of any use to her (no news there). “Imagine,” Becca said, “that …

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