Monday, November 3, 2008

Freedom is not free

My fellow Americans, tomorrow we will awaken to a rare opportunity. We are presented with the chance to participate in a process where, after months - in fact, years - of vigorous debate, analysis, disagreement, posturing, mudslinging, muckraking, hyperbole, innuendo, name calling, finger-pointing and backbiting, the ultimate decision comes down to us. By now, we should be well-informed and educated on the issues. We should be prepared to cast a vote for the candidate(s) whom we believe in our hearts are best equipped to lead in public office. Our country is in a mess. But, after the dust has settled and the storm has passed, we will still be blessed to live in the greatest nation on earth. A land of plenty where we enjoy rights, privileges and liberties of which others around the world can only dream.

We will cast a private ballot and in that instant become participants, investors and partners in a sometimes flawed, but always unique system of government. A system that, from its inception, has been for the people and by the people. The votes we cast will not change anything overnight. The challenges we face as a nation will be overcome only by change within ourselves. This election, then, is not about one man against another. It is about you and me. It is about us.

Before you exercise the uncommon honor of going to the polls tomorrow, look in the mirror and ask yourself, "Am I the good citizen I should be? Am I truly aware and appreciative of the great benefit of being an American? Am I willing to make the sacrifices that will be necessary to change what is wrong in my country? Am I proud enough to celebrate all that is right?"

Democracy is hard work. The price paid for our freedom has been high and it is not getting any cheaper. But we are not in this thing alone. Each of us makes a difference by doing our part. Make your voice heard by voting. And may God bless the United States of America.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Huge Bag o' Candy

The weather has suddenly turned much cooler here and Halloween is just around the corner. I don't know what made me think of it, maybe my 7-year-old son's excitement over his new Iron Man costume, but today I remembered a long-ago Halloween night.
I must have been about 8. It was rainy and miserable that night, but we soldiered through and went Trick-or-Treating through the neighborhood anyway. I had a huge bag of candy, weighted down by an extraordinary bounty of sugary glop. And I knew most of it was the good stuff too. As we trudged up the hill to our house it started to rain harder and by the time we got home we were all soaking wet. A rag-tag group of little monsters. As we fell to the living room floor to inspect our treasures, I realized that my goody bag had a big hole in the bottom of it. It had gotten wet and maybe I had dragged it on the street. Anyway, most of my candy was gone. Very little remained aside from the bogus stuff like that hard peanut-buttery goo in the nondescript orange and black wrappers; the stuff that we were convinced people put rat hair and razor blades in. The creepy candy. I was crushed. That was probably the same Halloween when I choked on a set of those cheap plastic vampire teeth. Remember those. They always made you gag.

There were better times ahead. Here's a picture from the family Halloween party, circa 1978, when my buddy Bert and I dressed up as "Dads" complete with Bermuda shorts and dark socks. That's my Mom, The Tree, beside me. And Uncle Jimmy was The Unknown Ventriloquist. Makes me laugh just to see it again. Good times. Really good.

There is something I've always loved about Halloween. Could be the season, could be the memories. I don't know, it's just a feeling I get. I can't wait to take the boy Trick-or-Treating. Sure hope it doesn't rain.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Getting to know Hardware

As any craftsman worth his salt can tell you, any project is made easier by choosing the right tools for the job. The Hardware logo includes the mark "Est. 1964." As I considered the origins of this business, it occurred to me that it really began the day I was born. One of the more interesting aspects of middle-age (though my wife claims that 44 is the new 34) is the privilege of seeing how the pieces have come together in the puzzle of your life. I firmly believe that every experience in my life has led me to this very moment. Looking back on it, I've been blessed with a rich existence. A loving family, generous and caring friends, and the pleasure of making a living doing the things I love most. Posted at the top of the blog, Hardware's "10 Things" statement should give you a pretty fair idea my humble philosophy regarding work and life. And at the bottom of the blog you'll find the standard resume describing my experience and qualifications. Thanks for visiting. Let me hear from you.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Okay, I'm a latecomer to the blogosphere, but after resisting the siren call of technology for years I'm finally resigned to the fact that this is the way it must be. Seems I'm an old dog learning lots of new tricks lately. Two years ago I left a relatively comfortable and, at the time, secure career in the newspaper industry. A career that began in 1986 in Atlanta, Georgia and led me to West Palm Beach, Florida and eventually Columbia, South Carolina. In 2006 I left that cushy gig to realize a lifelong dream by co-founding an advertising agency. Today I am proudly launching a new venture named Hardware Graphic Design + Illustration. Lately I've taken a good hard look at my life's work and decided that it's time to get back to my roots. For as long as I can remember all I've really wanted to do is create pictures and find thoughtful, creative solutions to visual challenges. I don't mind hard work, in fact I like it. I'd rather be busy than have to pretend I am!

If you have a project or idea and need an effective, attractive and engaging graphic solution, I invite you to contact me today. Let's talk about putting Hardware to work for you. The new Web site is just days away from its debut at I'm hard at work in the shop and I can't wait to share Hardware with the world.