Helping You Be Contemporary in a Traditional Way

As previously explained, we had been absent from these parts for an extended period tied to the passing of my Mom on May 5, 2017. The days and months preceding and after that day were not conducive to sharing the offbeat we offer. During these serious and challenging times, it did not seem appropriate to […]

Like me, New York Times columnist David Brooks recently saw the new documentary about Fred Rogers, “Won’t you Be My Neighbor”. And like me and so many others, he was moved. The movie, as Brooks summarized it, demonstrates how Rogers’s children’s show got started and how he used it over 30 years to teach and […]

We’ve been at this for a while now – chronicling the offbeat off the beaten path, overlooked and forgotten. We have gone from sharing places with you to helping empower individuals, communities and those who support smart (community) narratives – i.e. our Journeys into Hidden America (Canada). The trek has been an uneven one – […]

You have stories in your very own midst that are ready to be transformed into smart narratives – meaning stories of authenticity and community that if turned into smart narratives can mean dollars saved and/or new dollars earned. “Authenticity” is a popular word and notion these days. From politics to marketing and everything in between. […]

No so much more than the game, the Super Bowl is also a vehicle for many other activities – including those who pay millions to have their names and brands promoted around and during the game. Though I am not much of a fan of either the Super Bowl or all that surrounds it, it […]

Consider this smart narrative – in just a short time, quite a story is told. It’s about hockey. It’s about community. It’s about humanity. This article was first published on

“POWERFUL IDEAS….PROFITABLE NETWORK…..Our ideas about sponsorship were formed when broadcast ruled……While the models served us well for decades, in a world where even the disrupters are being disrupted, they no longer apply….” So reads the promotional brochure of the conference for IEG (International Events Group), taking place this April in Chicago. We have attended in […]

In our last post we remembered Lois Weisberg, who recently died at age 90. She did remarkable work in Chicago helping to create and nuture events, instiutions and relationships. Her works had a profound impact on the Windy City – improving its quality of life (Chicago Blues Festival) and its revenues from the influx of […]

I had never heard of Lois Weisberg until I read her obituary. But it turns out that she was a mentor of sorts for me. She did what I advocate – though our neighborhoods and audiences are very different. A New York Times obituary reports that “A diminutive, energetically sociable woman with seemingly indiscriminate curiosity, […]

NFL Football is on the TV. The score is 31-0 and it is not even halftime. So I have gone to multi-tasking – going through old newspapers while listening to the game. In doing so, I came across an interesting article from last Summer. It’s an opinion piece headlined “We Need Optimists”. In it Arthur […]

Helping you be contemporary in a traditional way. That is our tag line to help businesses, organizations, associations, and individuals make the most of themsleves. We often speak about what we refer to a “traditional way”. In this posting we would like to tap into the contemporary aspect. Eli Amdur has been a friend and […]

My Mom is in her Nineties. She is doing remarkably well for someone her age. She no longer drives, but she still mangaes to enjoy life in her way – and in a contemporary fashion. For example, she recently called to my attention a newspaper article authored by Seth Siegel about his still changing career. […]

Last time we spoke of the prevalence of disengagement, disconnection, dissatisfaction and disaffection in our world today – how many feel disappointed with and apart from institutions have either turned their back or been inattentive. We also hinted that a change is afoot, at least according to Dov Seidman whose views we respect. It seems […]

An interesting article and ensuing discussion. The premise of the writer: It’s unfashionable to admit this in the age of Expedia, Priceline and other do-it-yourself online tools, but here it is: I miss travel agents. The Internet took off as a way to book travel because the human intermediaries were always a bit suspect — […]

I offer expertise (through strategizing, facilitation and consulting services) – helping people, businesses and communities “be contemporary in a traditional way” – tapping into the benefit of 40 years’ experience in media, marketing, community, collaborative problem solving, storytelling (“smart narrative making”), and related legal issues so that they can identify, leverage and monetize what makes […]

Forest Gump’s Mama once taught him that life was like a box of chocolates (“You Never Know What You Gonna Get”). We have been thinking of that box of chocolates too, but in a bit of a different way. In this age in which we are all brands (whether we are individuals, businesses, organizations or […]

Have you ever found someone’s valuable and helped them reunite with it? Similarly, have you ever had someone please you by locating and reuniting you with a valuable you had feared lost ? Well, I’m here to tell you that there are valuables just lying there, and they are valuables, if attending to in a […]

More: If you are a traveler or armchair traveler looking to be enteratined, informed, enlightened and inspired, let us help through our features and information services, including Journeys Into’s explorations of the offbeat, off the beaten path, overlooked and forgotten. If you are seeking a travel experience of discovery and growth, let us help You […]

As mentioned in an earlier posting, our start in these present endeavors was inspired by the late Charles Kuralt. His words and explorations (as well as those of Garrison Keillor) have guided me for over 30 years. I too Like him, I too went ahead and have come to know the way. These words and […]

Frustrated by the notion of fighting traffic and crowds at the Mall ? You know there is another way (in addition to online shopping). Here is a classic shot from Iowa to remind us what it used to be like. Photo Credit: Muscatine Journal This article was first published on

Smart services and strategies for individuals, businesses, travel & lesiure industries, media and communities. “Helping you make the most of what you are and what matters to you”. This article was first published on

“Come along. Come and see. There are sites in this country and people in this country to vanish any gloom you ever may feel, and to fill you instead with wonder. Every road is as good as a promise and the promises all will be kept. And do not worry about getting lost. I have […]

Geico: The gecko, Maxwell the Pig, Dikemebe Mutombo, Ovie…Run simultaneously, selecting a different platform for each, and only using the one that gets the strongest response as s eed for a television ad….Frequency, Quality of content, Level. of ingenuity Native Content: Amps up story’s power – drafted to mimic everything that makes a platform attractive […]

With thanks to a dear friend (not just for this item but for your friendship), here is the elevator pitch they have forever been seeking. It was actually written a while back, but it was not until this infinitely patient and compassionate friend saw it in a recent post that we were together identify it […]

We do not generally write of world events here. We will not now either. But a couple of references in articles dealing with recent events in Paris did strike us for their applicability beyond these current events. A newspaper columnist in addressing the issue of “A religious answer to religious extremism (Looking at the texts)”, […]

In a world short of positive role models, there are still heroes in our midst. Local heroes may be found in many shapes and forms. There is, of course, the war veteran who may live next door; the Eagle Scout down the street or the neighbor on the look for the well-being of an elderly […]

My website does not have a “Frequently Asked Questions” section. If it did (and perhaps it might be a good idea to do so), the first question listed would be, and “Just what is it that you do do”? But I’m not sure there would be enough space to fairly and simply address that question. […]

Now the thoughtful answer this question, with a big thanks to my youngest daughter for her role in helping to make this answer possible. But first, some background. It has been years and years and years that I have worked at answering this question in a smooth, comfortable fashion. I clearly know what I was […]

The corner of Hollywood and Vine is an intersection in Los Angeles – Hollywood to be exact. But it is also a state of mind – a place where dreams are pursued, often by many trying to place themselves at the right place at the right time. Most frequently it was considered a good career […]

As mentioned in a prior posting, social media is a new frontier for me. As with anything new, it is exciting to be able to make acquaintances and friends with those that I would not otherwise be able connect. At the same time, it is also a time not without some trepidation. This whole thing […]

This story comes out of Tapei, but it could just as easily be anywhere in the U.S. or Canada – say in the Southwestern desert or up North. In this instance, a county government is promoting Aboriginal harvest festivals scheduled for this month and next to attract tourists to the region. But Aboriginal residents are […]

The study is no longer new (2013) but the principle is still an important that either guides or should.A survey at the time by the Tourism Marketing Council (TMC) showed that about 60 percent of U.S. travelers say they are likely to take a cultural/heritage trip – up from 51 percent in 2009.The survey confirms […]

“Companies are highlighting …heritage to attract buyers who value ritual and tradition…….Authenticity is a fuzzy concept, but Julie Napoli, a marketingprofessor at Curtin University, and colleagues recently reported in the Journal of Business Research that consumers see three dimensions to brand authenticity: heritage, sincerity and committment to quality”. This article was first published on