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 […]

It is now week two of the new era for A Prairie Home Companion. After week one, the review were generally favorable for new host Chris Thile. Thile, handpicked as successor by Garrison Keillor, is trying to strike a balance – honriong the orgins while refreshing it to make it more embraced but a younger […]

The “House of Tomorrow,” designed for the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair’s Century of Progress Exhibition, was named a National Treasure this week by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. When it was built it was one of the most innovative and influential buildings in modern architecture, filled with the latest technology and appliances. But it’s […]

Contrary to what I wrote in a prior entry, the departure of Garrison Keillor is hitting me harder than I thought and hoped it would. As mentioned, we have been through this whole thing before back in 1987 when Keillor announced to the world that he was closing up shop to move to Denmark. I […]

Once upon a time, before the G.P.S., folks used maps to guide their travels. Among the “full service” provided by service stations was the availability of road maps. Those maps laid out state and primary roads (before the interstates). But they shed little light on what was at a locale or along the way. More […]

In recent postings we have spoken of James Fallow’s wonderful essay in the current issue of The Atlantic. Entitled “Eleven Signs a City Will Succeed”, it is a summation of James and Deb Fallows’s 54,000-mile journey around America in a single-engine plane. The article appears in the March print edition alongside the cover story, “Can […]

In recent postings we have spoken of James Fallow’s wonderful essay in the current issue of The Atlantic. Entitled “Eleven Signs a City Will Succeed”, it is a summation of James and Deb Fallows’s 54,000-mile journey around America in a single-engine plane. The article appears in the March print edition alongside the cover story, “Can […]

Here is a wonderful essay, Eleven Signs a City Will Succeed, by the incomparable James Fallows. It is a summation of James and Deb Fallows’s 54,000-mile journey around America in a single-engine plane. The article appears in the March print edition alongside the cover story, “Can America Put Itself Back Together?” In it he described […]

We are now posting on the topic “Getting to Your Smart Narrative & Beyond”. Soon we will be heading into the “Beyond” part in a series entitled “Turning Your Smart Narrative into a Journey”. There’s lots of territory to be covered. we look forward to journeying with you. Stay tuned. This article was first published […]

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 […]

It is always rewarding to travel – especially because you never know what lessons will be learned and what will serve as a teacher. I recently traveled to Washington, D.C.. Actually, I got no closer than suburban Maryland. It was a quick overnight visit and I wanted to stay somewhere convenient to my event. Turned […]

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. […]

Do you think history is boring ? Well, you have not met Lynne Sturtevant, author, a speaker, an entrepreneur and a travel pro. She and the services she provides are anything but boring. They are living proof that the stories of our past, if presented in the right way, can be enlightening, entrertaining and revenue […]

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 […]

There’s nothing like a presidential primary season to send media types racing all over the country. As the whistle stops and stump speeches and straw polls and caucuses continue, we hear about all sorts of out-of-the way places that most of us wouldn’t know about if a presidential candidate didn’t stop there. A side-effect of […]

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 […]

It starts with you and your narrative. But please know you are not alone. In addition, to offering strategies and service, we also act as an advocate. This role comes out of our own past and our passion. For us, it is more than a job. It is who we are and what we are […]

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 […]

Never paid much attention to the television show “Antiques Roadshow”, but I have recently found myself intrigued by the program and its basic premise. In a Public Television version of “reality TV”, folks bring in their stuff (often heirlooms and antiques) hoping to learn how much these items might be worth. In the process, the […]

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)”, […]

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 […]

Even with congestion, pollution and crumbling infrastructure, the network of highways we have assembled remains a monument to achievement. In the U.S., the Interstate System has been called the Greatest Public Works Project in History. The Trans-Canada (and its successor freeways/autoroutes), along with the railroads, hockey and the CBC is said to have played a […]

In a recent posting on this site, we wrote of being informed, entertained and inspired by Miles Orvell’s, The Death and Life of Main Street: Small Towns in American Memory, Space, and Community (2012, The University of North Carolina Press). These inspiration triggered a number of follow-up postings based on themes raised by Orvell. This […]

Notions of Main Street, the American Road, and hometown neighborhoods have long had a powerful hold on our notions of self. It was still only recently that Main Street became a powerful symbol to us all – a counterpoint to the excesses on Wall Street. Unlike the symbol of capitalism in New York’s financial district, […]

As we journey together, the journeys are multi-faceted. There is a physical journey – such as a Journey into Hidden America or Canada. But there is an emotional aspect at well. We not only go to places beyond the interstate (whether Main Street or “off the beaten path”) to chronicle interesting activities, places and individuals […]

“Helping You Be Contemporary in Traditional Way” is a tagline we have developed to describe what we do. It took some thought to get there. I had found that some had thought of our “Journeys Into” explorations of the offbeat, off the beaten path, overlooked and forgotten” as just another look at nostalgia (A sentimental […]

It’s graduation time, and many words of advice are being given to graduating Seniors. Some of those words are being printed in the papers. We recently saw this advice from Documentary Filmmaker to the graduates of Washigton University in St. Louis. We wanted to share them with you: “It is into this disorienting and sometimes […]