Neal Petersen: Against All Odds

He’s a solo racing yachtsman who sailed into the history books and navigated through life’s adversity achieving the impossible. His boat slammed into the roaring sea as waves crashed over him. Neal Petersen held fast the ropes and lowered the sails as best he could as the ocean recoiled and unleashed another round of fury. Sheer determination drowned any fear he must have had. Like the sirens call, every wave beckoned him to quit, but he refused to succumb. His red jacket flapping wildly in the wind, he was soaked and freezing. Hurricane force wind gusts measured 55 knots.The 38-foot sailboat was 300 miles from Cape Horn, the most southern tip of the Americas, and 200 miles from the coast of Chile. “I was using such force that my fingers began to bleed, and the sail began to rip. I had a torn mainsail. My headsail was already shredding. Big challenges were coming up,” says Petersen in his autobiography, Journey of a Hope Merchant. He couldn’t leave the tiller, the wind vane needed help. By holding the rope and using all


Time to dig through the attic. You may have a piece of rare history more valuable than gold. Can you imagine a bunch of throomers huddled closely together, perhaps cradling a tumbler of scotch, or a glass of wine, or beer in their hands, having an intense conversation about their toy collections and paint chips?  Well, if not, you might be interested to learn a little more about antique mechanical banks and the eclectic ladies and gentlemen who are exceptionally passionate and extremely competitive when it comes to collecting these rare gems. A Delightful Way to Save Toy mechanical banks were first introduced in the mid-to-late 1800s, designed to encourage children to have fun while saving money.  Sculpted by an artist, they had moving parts, springs, and levers to create an action that would encourage children to use them time and time again.  The period between 1869, when the first mechanical cast iron bank, known as Hall’s Excelsior, became available, and 1910 was known as the golden age of mechanical banks, when most were produced. You’ve probably seen them but


Taking flight to lofty heights gives the adventurer in all of us an exhilarating new perspective on our world.   In 1970, a young boy named Scott Appleman and his family moved from Los Angeles, California to Albuquerque, New Mexico. In February 1971, the very first world hot air balloon championships would take place in the city where he lived. The 12-year-old seventh-grader became incredibly curious over these hot air balloons that could reach heights of up to 3,000 feet. He decided to ditch his class one day and make his way to the event being held at the New Mexico State Fairgrounds. Fascinated with these huge billowy balloons, he volunteered as a balloon chase crew member and went on his first ride. Captivated by his adventure into the sky, he was hooked. Little did he know this experience would launch him into an amazing career that would lead to world recognition. Winds of Change His family has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. His father owned his own company, a plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical service company in Albuquerque.


For this dreamer, going big meant going really big as in dinosaurs, the big screen, and the world stage. As children, most of us dreamed about what we wanted to be when we grow up. For some of us, it was engraved on the posters we hung on our bedroom walls or the books that were stacked in our shelves. As life goes on though, most of us change life trajectories and end up in careers totally different than what we initially had in our little hearts. However, there are those whose passion is so engraved in their souls no matter how much they change, they eventually become who they always wanted to be. Jack Horner was one of those people. He turned his childhood passion for fossil hunting into a career as a world-renowned paleontologist, but it was an achievement that was nowhere near easy. A Rough Beginning Horner grew up as a shy, introverted boy with dyslexia, a condition that makes it hard to learn to read and absorb information, which became a major challenge for Jack but

Words of Wisdom: A Reminder from “The Engineers of Life”

  As you welcome in the new year, 2019, what are you thinking? How are you feeling? What does this new year mean to you? Does it feel like a new birth, a new beginning? Are you feeling a new vitality as you think about your new possibilities? Think for a moment about a new year past. Did you begin it with this same kind of thinking, were you feeling a new energy, only to have it soon dissipate into the blackhole that lies within the ‘dailyness’ of your life?  If so, you are far from alone. If you are sincere about making this new year different, take a few moments to read what follows. First though, let us be clear. We do not intend to bore you with the same old advice about goal setting, time management, positive thinking, and more. Please don’t misunderstand, we believe each of these is important. But, without understanding what we are about to share, this well-intended advice will lead to temporary changes at best. The Force is with You I believe there are

Unlocking the Communication Code of Aging Parents

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”                                                                 -George Bernard Shaw If boomers think they had issues in the past communicating with their parents, try adding in their new role as caregiver.  They have quickly discovered how unprepared they actually are for the volatile conversation about provocative topics that dominate the last phase of life.  Not surprising, they are coming for these experiences frustrated, confused and deeply upset about “what went wrong” despite their best intentions. While it would be convenient to blame this all too common disconnect between generations on the eccentricities of their aging parents, the real problem can be traced back to the messages boomers are sending them.   For the most part, they are based on outdated assumptions about the psychology of older adults.  No matter how hard they try, they cant’ avoid delivering the wrong message.  What can make this better? The good news is that by updating their understanding of the  psychological agenda of their aging parents, boomers can use these new insights to dramatically improve the receptivity and effectiveness

Dr. Hagood: An Intellectual Southern Gentleman

An Intellectual Gentleman of the South Throomers extends a warm welcome to Professor Taylor Hagood as a most noteworthy contributing writer. His depth of knowledge across American literature is impressive, especially as relates to his birthplace, the United States South. He’ll be providing our readers with extraordinary content from time-to-time on any number of subjects as his busy schedule allows. Initially, we’ll be proudly presenting his popular ‘Hagood Reads the Phone Book’ series, beginning with fascinating tales from Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis is a city filled with colorful history, from the era of steamboats to the birth of the blues and rockabilly music. The focus will be on household names connected with the city – Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Martin Luther King, and many others – as well as lesser known but historically significant names. In the months ahead, Professor Hagood will provide entertaining visits to the historic cities of New Orleans, Key West, and wherever else his phone book happens to be propped open to at the time. Beyond these travelogues, we’re hoping he’ll grace us with essays in other