Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tim Kane on Tom Kane

A truly loving and lovely post about a 'failed' entrepreneur. That is, someone whose enterprise, hard work, and investment in life gave others jobs, supplied products, and of course allowed him to build a family.
His life was evidently full of serendipity:
He found success as a consultant for Price Waterhouse, and really enjoyed advising companies, especially one in Marshall, Michigan that made glass backboards for the NBA and NCAA. It was such a neat company, Ronan & Kunzl. A glass company. Six months after his consulting report, the CEO shrugged his shoulders and said R&K had been a family firm, not his, and he’d implemented none of Pop’s ideas. He sighed, then asked Pop if he would be interested in taking over. Opportunity knocks!
He finishes:
One day, I think it was in 1980, my father was in his backyard garden digging away, while Troy and I were passing a football nearby. He was upset about something at the company, but after a while asked us to come over for a lecture/pep talk. He said, "You boys are going to grow up and have people tell you can't do things. It's impossible. Well, don't listen to them. Anything is possible if you dream it." Only later did we appreciate the meaning of his words. But at that age, words like "anything" and "dream" are more potent than he realized. So he scooted us away and we ran up the hill to the side of the house (where the big tree is), and I said to Troy, "You know what this means, don't you?"
My brother shook his head vigorously, eyes wide. "It means we can fly!" he said.
"Exactly," I said. So we climbed the tree and jumped out and crashed into the grass. We kept trying for the next 20 minutes, but we never took off like Superman. By the time we went in for supper, bruised and dirty, we were ashamed that we just didn't have enough faith in our own dreams.
Looking back, I think I learned this from Pop: Flying high is heroic, but crashing isn’t a tragedy. We should save our tears for the people who never try to fly.
So here’s a toast to Pop.
Thanks, Tim. I'll raise a glass.


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