Chapter Dedications

Chapter Dedication Recipients

When you hear a song; watch a movie; or read a book, do you ever wonder what inspired it? Well, I often think about these things, so I thought you should know about some of the people I thought about as I wrote this book. To me, these folks have some of that Regular Folks style I often think about, stuff you should know about it…

Jerry Kirkpatrick, The Author

The Platinum Rule

How’s Your Timing?

What Are You Allergic to?

Just ‘Cuz It’s in a Frame, Doesn’t Mean You Know the Game

Me You and the Other Fellas

If I Want to be Labeled, I’d Buy a Labeller

How to Effectively Negotiate With Government

One Minute You Say You Will, the Next You Won’t

Today I’m Going to Try and Change My World

That’s My Charisma You’re Smelling

Most of What I Got I Deserved

I’d Rather Have a Charmless House Full of Charm than a Charming House Full of Charmless

Be Careful What You Wish For

Me Buddy is Me Customer

How to Screw Up a Good Thing

Expert Advice is Not Always the Best Advice

I’d like to Blame You if You Don’t Mind

Close Your Pout or Help Out

Keep Your Fork

Who’s Your Buddy?

Settling Into Old Geezer Hood

Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings

The Regular Folks Artist

Cuss Words I Should Stop Saying

 

The Platinum Rule

The words say it; the way she presents those words, says it all…

Orris is a people coach. You visit her and she listens to you and tries to help you. She doesn’t say if she agrees or disagrees with you, she just tries to help you. And, when you are done chatting with Orris, you might leave her office with absolutely nothing changed in your life; except, you now seem to feel a little bit better because you chatted with Orris. Not sure how she does all that; all I know is, where she used to work they honoured her by creating the Orris Garland Humanitarian Award (given out annually to a member of the organization who does good things for people). I dedicate The Platinum Rule chapter to Orris Garland, Human Relations specialist.

How’s Your Timing?

I think I will call him Mr. Stuffy because of what he does; though it might not be what you think…

Gordon retired earlier than most, closing out a successful career, with of course success stuff. He was twice the Grand Counsellor of a service organization, a title only a few achieve (and then almost always only once). And, he is soon to be the International President of this same organization, a rare stuff achievement to say the least. He has learned to be a small engine repair guy and has his own business doing the same stuff. He is an active volunteer and heavily involved in sport stuff. And, here’s the sweetest part; Gordon is a Regular Folk with regular talk and walk stuff. Basically, this all means that Gordon is a stuff achiever with good timing stuff, who lives stuff simply, while managing his stress level stuff effectively so he is not locked up somewhere. Like I said Gordon does a lot of “stuffy.” I dedicate the How’s Your Timing? chapter to Gordon Woodworth, National Curling officiator and Chief Umpire, 2013 Men’s National Curling Championships (The Brier).

What Are You Allergic to?

We were at a conference when Alison said, “Jerry come here, you’ve got to see this!” From that day forward I was hooked…

 David built his program back in 1975 based on a philosophy that people working in social services need to develop healthy relationships with the people they assist if they truly want to assist them. This idea was introduced at a time when corporal punishment and other aggressive interventions were the accepted caregiver practices of the day. In David’s system of support; values of respect and protection replace devalues of ignore and neglect. His system teaches one to look beyond what you see and hear, by trying to understand a person’s emotional mistakes, allergies, wishes and must-haves. I believed it then and I still follow it now. In fact, I gave up my hard earned Master’s Instructor Level certificate (in another behavior intervention program) and switched the entire company I was managing over to the ideals David built. I dedicate the What Are You Allergic to? chapter to David Mandt, founder of the building healthy relationships program, The Mandt System.

Just ‘Cuz It’s in a Frame, Doesn’t Mean You Know the Game

You can find Regular Folks just about anywhere, Dave for example…

Have you ever met someone and just enjoy the pleasure of what he/she have to say. Well, I have, and his name is David. Here’s why; David is educated and a superb intellect, who spent a lot of career time hangin with the smarties; that kinda stuff. Yeah, and you know what else? He’s also realistic, down to earth, and looks at life like Regular Folks do. He is genuine and honest, and believes in the betterment of humanity stuff. Hard to believe, eh, that a smarty dude, can be all that schoolin stuff and do that other stuff too…well he does, because he knows the value of classroom stuff and life stuff too. I dedicate the Just ‘Cuz It’s in a Frame, Doesn’t Mean You Know the Game chapter to David Jory, Professor, University of New Brunswick.

Me You and the Other Fellas

I know a few people (actually, I know quite a few people); though, few of them can do this…

Sara is one of those rare folks that doesn’t negatively gossip about people. You can bring up a complaint about someone and you can wish she will join you in bantering about that person, she won’t. Now, this is not to say she won’t acknowledge that the person has a stuff issue or even have a complaint about a person’s stuff actions; however, she would then follow this up with deflector words like, “oh maybe he is having an off day.” I think she does this because Sara embraces the belief that people’s choices can be different and gossiping won’t change that. I dedicate the Me, You and the Other Fellas chapter to Sara, fairness advocate.

If I Want to be Labeled, I’d Buy a Labeller

They did something no one else has ever done before in New Brunswick, Canada, and, they did it the hard way…

Ed, Eke, Charlotte, George and Ian (and a few other pals too) pursued Jean Vanier’s dream of setting up a L’Arche community. Jean Vanier, one of Canada’s most influential people, has dedicated his life in over 40 countries to assist individuals with reading, writing, arithmetic and other stuff. He lived with these folks and then created similar settings worldwide he called L’Arche communities. L’Arche is built off the fundamentals of equality, respect, spirituality, family values and fellowship for all people, with the beneficiaries of these caring attitudes, those folks who need assistance with reading, writing, arithmetic and other stuff. To setup a L’Arche community requires time, money, education, a house, volunteer hours and lots of other stuff. There is no easy way to do it, and that’s what makes these places so very special. You know what else? Ed and Eke did all of that and more because they practice something others sometimes forget to do, and that is; all people deserve love. I dedicate the If I Want to be Labeled, I’d Buy a Labeller chapter to Ed and Eke van Oorschot, builders of New Brunswick’s first L’Arche Community.

How to Effectively Negotiate With Government

One Minute You Say You Will, the Next You Won’t

I found someone who can effectively negotiate with the Canadian government; ironically, she was not even from Canada…

Simply put she’s a go getter. She sees something and she goes for it. And, she does this honestly, politely and consistently. She doesn’t complain and she doesn’t listen to “can’t, won’t and but.” She researches her wishes and must-haves thoroughly, and with endless energy, she persistently and kindly keeps asking to get them met. The “government” (and other organizations) throws fees, paperwork, inconsistency and all that bureaucratic junk at her, and she just keeps moving forward, persisting along with a marvelous smile and a willful look. Simply put, she wears em down with her charm and stuff, and that my friends, is how you effectively negotiate with government/other organizations. I dedicate the How to Effectively Negotiate With Government and One Minute You Say You Will, the Next You Won’t chapters to Mavis Oliva Rodriquez, a permanent resident of Canada (now a full Canadian citizen) and N.B. Teacher, who legally immigrated here with great determination, and my admiration, from the Communist State of Cuba.

 Today I’m Going to Try and Change My World

Every time I meet Wes I get a bonus…

Wes is one of those guys that just gives you the warm fuzzies. He not only greets you with a handshake, he throws in a free smile, a smile that would light up a room. And, you know what else; he does it because he wants to, not just out of routine. Wes is one of those volunteers that “really, really, helps out just cuz he wants to.” Whether it is random or regular stuff, service is what Wes does best. I dedicate the Today I’m Going to Try and Change My World chapter to J Wesley Cosman, Past International President, United Commercial Travelers (UCT) and recipient of the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award.

That’s My Charisma You’re Smelling

I met him at a convention, he worked his charisma on me (and everyone else too). He is a Regular Folks “gentle man”…

 I was organizing a convention for a service club and my liaison for the visiting dignitaries was Jim. I did not know Jim, so being the “nosey” type, I checked him out. I asked my father Bob who knew him well, “Good guy,” he said. Then I asked another person (a Higher Up in fact), He said, “Jim, you’ll like him, a good chap to work with.” Every person I asked in fact, said basically the same thing, “Nice person, lots of class.” And, finally I met Jim (and worked with him throughout the convention). And, you know what? He’s got buckets of charisma. You know what else? He’s a Regular Folk too; down to earth, easy to talk to, fun at a party, and just pleasant to be with. I dedicate the That’s My Charisma You’re Smelling chapter to James Sherry, Past International Director, Lions International.

Most of What I Got I Deserved

It did not take me long to realize the value we got right here…

Dawn and I have met a few times and chatted here and there. Each time this happens, she leaves me pondering; “What a charming, honest, realistic and caring person.” Dawn wraps herself in projects that she believes will enhance her community. It could be through an organized affair or one person at a time, Dawn seeks out talent and stuff; yes, that’s what she does, she seeks out people’s stuff (the obvious and the hidden) and then she promotes their artistic ways; yes, yes, that’s exactly what she does. And, all of this basically means people get what they deserve because of her efforts, which of course is pretty good stuff.I dedicate the Most of What I Got I Deserved chapter to Dawn Arnold, Chairperson of the largest literary event in Atlantic Canada, The Frye Festival.

I’d Rather Have a Charmless House Full of Charm than a Charming House Full of Charmless

To me, that house was a rather charmless looking place, and then they moved in…

Lorraine and Marcel made a choice, a very interesting choice. They decided to invite some young men who needed assistance with reading, writing, arithmetic and other stuff to live with them and their two young daughters on a full-time basis. Not one or two young fellas, no, no, five young fellas all came to live with Lorraine and Marcel. And, so Lorraine and Marcel helped their daughters and those five young men with reading, writing, arithmetic and other stuff. Their daughter’s eventually grew up and moved on to pursue their own lives but not those five (now not so young fellas), well, they were still there, still getting the benefits of Lorraine and Marcel’s stuff. Now, I’d say this story is quite charming in itself; yet, there’s more…

Each year, immediately following the putting away of Christmas decorations; Lorraine and Marcel celebrated the next occasion, and the next, and the next… Christmas, Valentines, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Acadian Day, Halloween, Remembrance Day, and every single birthday and other occasion were celebrated with decorations, costume and food. In fact, every time I visited Lorraine and Marcel something was being celebrated. Loads of decorations to put up and to put away, through good times and the tough times, year in and year out, they faithfully decorated that house for those five fellows. Lorraine and Marcel not only helped those five young men with reading, writing, arithmetic and other stuff, they made sure the lads lived in a charming home 365 days a year. I dedicate the I’d Rather Have a Charmless House Full of Charm than a Charming House Full of Charmless chapter to Lorraine and Marcel Leger, parents to many folks.

Be Careful What You Wish For

Her life was like a road full of twists and sharp turns, and through all of that, she found her straight stretch of highway…

She has survived years of having less “things.”

She has fended off the temptations of drugs and other abuses.

She has worked her way there through good choices, goofy choices and unsafe choices.

She does not let the twists and turns of her life deter her from finding the way.

When you meet her you immediately feel the warmth of her charm and her smile. And, when she hugs you…she means it.

Is she an angel?

Robyn is just a Regular Folk who took the long way around to get settled into the Regular Folks way of life, which also may have helped her discover what many fail to recognize, and that is to appreciate what she has. I dedicate the Be Careful What You Wish For chapter to Robyn Kirkpatrick, working professional, loving wife and mom to one fortunate daughter.

 Me Buddy is Me Customer

Every day Jeff’s sells stuff to people; some friendly people; some grumpy people; and dear me, some people with emotional allergies…

I’ve met Jeff on a few occasions to buy stuff for our community drop-in-center; and you know what, he always presents himself like the rest of the sales folks working there, even though it may not be his role to take care of me that day.

His team of workers are dedicated to serving their customers through happy emotions and upset emotions. Jeff and his team tolerate and help us through. They do not get defensive and angry at unruly visitors, no, they put up with that lousy stuff we throw at them sometimes; quite simply, they know how to enjoy liking being disliked. The sales team doesn’t always like what we do; nonetheless, they always like for us to be happy. Who wouldn’t buy from that guy Jeff, I know I do. I dedicatethe, Me Buddy is Me Customer chapter to Jeff Kelly, President, Sounds Fantastic.

 How to Screw Up a Good Thing

In a job where 50% of the people often dislike you and the other 50% are usually not happy with you when you lose, it’s unusual to find a Regular Folk working here…

In my opinion he is a true blue Regular Folk, even though he is a lawyer, working in a career surrounded by winning and losing. A career where winning leads to strength, confidence, control, and sometimes the illusion you are better (or more intelligent) than others. I believe René the lawyer (and a few other Regular Folk’s lawyers like him) tries to avoid the path of power and self indulgence. I think he exercises enough strength to solve resolutions without causing undue destruction to people’s lives. My theory is Regular Folks lawyers try to remain humble in the midst of victory, deflecting self righteousness; which probably means less wealth in their lives (versus the Other Folks solicitors who don’t mind “the pillage of the village.”) Simply put, René knows about the “trials” and tribulations of life through his volunteer work with the Boys and Girls Clubs and other community organizations; he knows about being a regular folk; and he tries to check his arrogance at the door, and NOT screw up a good thing.I dedicate the How to Screw Up a Good Thing chapter to René Basque, Lawyer, Actus Law firm.

  Expert Advice is Not Always the Best Advice

He lives and works in a world of perceptions….

Whether he says so or not he is in one of those “expert” positions; a position in the public eye that projects leadership, trust, wisdom and knowledge. Few choose his way a life, a vocation that is often done alone. And, when he (or others in his flock) say and do things, people watch and make perceptions; some wonderful-some not so wonderful. The perception out there is that Phil does not fit the definition of what a Regular Folk generally is; yet, out of the fog of perceptions he walks among the Regular Folks and carries on like a regular guy. Phil does not put himself above or below others; integrates himself into his community, and puts his “expert position” away when it needs to be put away. He’s a Regular Folk with expert stuff who respectfully manages his expert stuff. I dedicate the Expert Advice is Not Always the Best Advice chapter to clergyman, Father Phil Mulligan.

 I’d like to Blame You if You Don’t Mind

Flip, flop and fly, there’s more than one way to reach the sky…

Meet Olivia. She is friendly, social and full of energy. She’s athletic, a dedicated volunteer and just a pleasure to have around. She has stuff, stuff and more successful stuff.  In addition to that stuff Olivia works hard at schoolin stuff to meet and surpass those pass ranges schools set down. All of this makes her the perfect person to awaken me (and hopefully you) the way life should work. It’s simple you see; Olivia works hard at all her schoolin and other stuff to muster up the best she can be. She “teaches” me that education is one way to have a successful life and she also “teaches” me…it is not the only way. I dedicate the I’d like to Blame You if You Don’t Mind chapter to Olivia Gallant, middle school student.

 Close Your Pout or Help Out

Hardly the innocent, actually a bit of a rowdy, I should know, I coached him…

He was a bit of a rebel who spent his fair share of time in the penalty box for doing hockey stuff. Nonetheless, Todd was one of my go to guys to help out the “clunkers” on our hockey team (the clunkers, a terrible label used by coaches back then, given out to players with below average hockey skills). Though most would have considered helping the clunkers a waste of their time, Todd (amidst his game incarceration time) was very dedicated to helping them out. He was patient and treated the less talented players with respect. He didn’t talk down to them and he showed them stuff so they could improve; an unlikely combination of trouble and kindness, that’s what Todd was back then. Over the years Todd continued his ways of helping out in other ways, doing stuff and sharing his knowledge with those around him. And, nowadays, well, he’s a tad less rowdy, though he’s still doing lots of helping out stuff. I dedicate the Close Your Pout or Help Out chapter to Todd Prime, Operations Manager, Information Technology Division, J.D. Irving, Limited.

 Keep Your Fork

She was so nice, are you sure she worked for the government…

Over the years me love Beth and I have spent a lot of time in Alma and Fundy National Park (FNP), nestled in the beauty of Albert County, New Brunswick. It was very common for our two children, Brett and Justin, and their grandparents Grammy (Pauline) and Papa (Jim) to camp and hangout there in the wind, the rain and the snow. In our tent, our tent trailer, our trailer and that gas eatin motor home, FNP is where we always ended up. In fact, we love Alma (and Fundy Park) so much that we now own a house there, which we frequent almost weekly. Going to Alma and the park was a family tradition, and Hazel the government worker played an important part. You see, Hazel, like most folks in Albert County, have a special gene; a gene I call the “Yo” gene, as in the; “Yo, come on in” gene. Hazel, the park government worker did stuff not common to government; she bent over backwards to welcome us (and the other campers too), and I’m sure the government Higher Ups did not always understand the purpose of her friendliness. Hazel, a classic Regular Folk, working for an unclassic boss, doing stuff for us, stuff not always written in the government book of, “how to handle a tourist.” She made us feel welcome, special, and her #1. And, there are lots of other Albert County folk like Hazel working in that park, doing that good Regular Folks stuff. Hazel is embedded in our family memories, right up there with those wonderful camping traditions… I dedicate the Keep Your Fork chapter to Hazel Dixon, the FNP government worker packed with sugar and spice.

 Who’s Your Buddy?

Settling Into Old Geezer Hood

The bond that joins them is the difference between them…

Noella does her task stuff sitting. Lorne does his task stuff standing. He is quiet, she’s front and center. Lorne is reserved. Noella is a “firecracker.” She does it one way and he does it the other.

You know what else?

Lorne enjoys “letting go” so Noella can be Noella, and Noella returns to “her man” the same devotion. They are opposite by some habits, yet they believe in each other. Their life plan is a sharing of stuff using a simple relationship formula;

“We need each other to make this work so let’s work together instead of apart.”

Their relationship is cooperative, mutual and sexy, just the way buddies should be. I dedicate the Who’s Your Buddy? and Settling Into Old Geezer Hood chapters to Noella and Lorne McDonald, Buddies in love.

 Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings

I think I know how they do it. They find their way and they lose their way and they do it together; that’s how I think they do it…

George and Susan are regular folks doing something, well…pretty sweet!

They bring up children, lots of children; sometimes children no one else wants.

I ask Susan and George, “Including the five children presently living with you, how many children have you had under your care?” They smile, shrug and then list off the names of their children, “How many is that Jerry?”

You see, George and Susan don’t care about numbers because that’s not why they do what they do. They invite children to live with them because they love children and they love that their faith gives that child a chance in life.

And, to make this even sweeter, George and Susan don’t just foster children, they adopt the little ones. They believe the best way for a child to be part of their home is to be part of their family, which also means that whether the children are at home or living out on their own, George and Susan are always there.

Susan and George take what they know and carefully blend this with guidance and love to create a good start, middle and finish for the many young folks they welcome. I dedicate the Feelings, Nothing More Than Feelings chapter to Susan and George Nelson, Parents.

 The Regular Folks Artist

Come on, really, what kind of person wants to work the night shift for thirty somethin years…

Actually, I know one person, Glen. In fact, Glen chose to work nights so he (and his wife Rita) could have more time in the day to volunteer for Special Olympics. And, did Special Olympics ever get a good deal…

Glen’s entire life in Special Olympics has been dedicated to finding the tapped and untapped talents of his athletes. And, I’m not always talking about the sport they’re engaged in. I’m also talking about their attitude toward positive living; toward dedication to each other; toward responsibility and attendance; and toward a commitment to trying.

It’d be nothing for Glen (or one of the other coaches) to replace their star baseball pitcher (full  of tapped talents) with a less talented pitcher who may not pitch like a star; yet nonetheless, bring so much untapped talents to the mound, the fans in the stands would be cheering with ovation.

You see, more than once, Glen’s chosen teams to Special Olympic events were not always his best individual athletes; more accurately, they were his best team. Glen could win and lose with his best players and he could win and lose without them; all he cared about was maximizing the talents of people. He sees something in people few of us can even begin to understand. I dedicate The Regular Folks Artist to Glen Agnew, Special Olympics coach; recipient of the Harry Red Foster Award, the Special Olympics National Volunteer Award and inductee to the Moncton Wall of Fame.

 Cuss Words I Should Stop Saying

He speaks Italian and French and uses a translator for English; all of this making him one brave person to do this…

Lucio Cordisco was elected to the position of District Governor by a group of his peers; to lead them at meetings, at conventions, through public speaking, celebrations and unrest. That in itself is a daunting task and to make it more complicated the group he is leading speaks English, and Lucio, well, does little of that. How’d he do that?

Simple really, Monsieur Cordisco removed these words from his vocabulary: Can’t, Won’t, and But. Lucio quietly, charismatically and persistently fended off the pessimists who said things like; “He can’t lead me if he doesn’t understand me.” “We won’t get anything done at this pace.” “He might be in charge but things are going to fall apart.” Lucio stood proud and stood strong. He mustered up new ways to communicate; recruited helpers and behold…he got the job done.

Was it easy? Of course not. Was it smooth? It never is? Did it work? Yup.

A Leader is only as successful as his flock and if the flock pulls together than he shall prosper. His flock went from can’t, won’t and but, to “we can do this and here’s how…” I dedicate the Cuss Words We Should Stop Saying chapter to Lucio Cordisco, professional tailor, dedicated volunteer and recipient of one of the highest awards handed out in Lions, the Melvin Jones Fellow.