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Today’s guest reached out to me, (which by the way, I’d love to see more of you do)!  As a nation we’re obsessed with New Year’s resolutions.  Are we not?  We go crazy with them even knowing that we’ll fail.  It’s almost as if the tradition is to make resolutions, then not do them.  John Hopper has a different approach.  He calls it "Living in the How."  He has a planner where there’s no time limit, there’s no calendar, just three columns:  "what I want," " why I want it," and "how am I going to get it?"It’s a simple format that changed his life.  Can it change yours?  Listen in and see.Support the show (
I met today’s American a few years back in connection with an animation project for AmEx.  Nils put together a great piece and we’ve since gone on to work together numerous times, in fact, he designed the King Media Group logo.  Growing up on a farm Nils learned early the value of hard work.  He went on to a successful design career and as a letterforms instructor at Art Center.Here, the conversation goes from thinning sugar beets and jumping in the river, to the value of a work ethic and aesthetic design.  That's Nils, a man of many (type) faces. Quote to watch for when asked why he didn't flee the farm:  “You grew up knowing you were an essential part of the livelihood.  It had to be done."Support the show (
Today we’re going to hear a story from what I call the waterway interviews.  A few years ago I went on a documentary expedition in a small boat, from Norfolk to Boston up the Intercoastal waterway.  The goal was to search for the American Spirit.Meet Trina Sobotka.  Being a little behind schedule we docked unannounced in a little marina at Cole’s Point, Virginia.   A little town tucked into a sheltered bay off the Potomac River.  (It's rumored that Blackbeard's famous treasure may be somewhere in the area.) We were put up for free by Trina in a large many-roomed cabin on the water, and hosted that night at the local bar and grill, where there was music, good food, and the weekly dart match.Here, Trina talks a little about Cole’s Point and the people that live and visit there.Support the show (
Merry Christmas from the cast and crew of Everyday America!Today I share the soundtrack of a special living nativity, usually performed live each year for the last 22 years to audiences of thousands.  To see the video that's serving as the virtual version you can go to  Otherwise, listen here to the soundtrack with the voice talents of the inimitable Skip Conover from Pageant of the Masters fame in Laguna Beach, California.Support the show (
Today’s American lives in Texas by way of Puerto Rico.Shayla Rivera is a lady of many talents.  She’s  a rocket scientist and worked on the shuttle and space station programs with NASA.  She’s a comedian, and I met her as the emcee of an awards show I produced a few years back.  She’s also a professor and teaches at Texas A&M University.You'll enjoy her humor and no-nonsense views on success and "being in charge" of your life.A quote to watch for:  “When you make someone laugh the gap between you and that person just gets narrower and narrower.  If you laugh together then you realize you can be together.”Support the show (
I met today’s American at a video shoot a few years ago at the quaint Trianon Theater in San Jose California.  A beautiful little theater built in 1923.Jon Nakamatsu talks about what it means to follow your heart and to listen to your own voice and why he was he drawn to the piano.  Where did the desire come from?  What did he have to give up to be successful?  The lessons are the same for each of us.  Jon’s passion for music and the piano is singular, and I think you’ll enjoy hearing what goes though the mind of a concert pianist while on stage performing.You can check out his music and more of his story at the show (
His story unfolds like some kind of a movie script: Born prematurely in the backseat of a taxi cab to a drug addicted mother that didn’t know she was pregnant, a heart attack, necrotic intestines, and emergency surgery––and that was his first hour of life––Ian’s story doesn’t let up there.   His adoptive parents are circus performers, and Ian himself has gone on to take his place among some world-class athletes, and now excels in a little-known Russian acrobatic discipline.  Find out what's next as Ian seeks his purpose.Support the show (
Brad Zinn is a preservationist.  He’s preserving a part of American history that has almost faded away.  He's a a comedian, a magician, and an artist that preserves the comedy of yesteryear.  His one man play, The Great Comedians has won audiences over across the nation.  As you listen to my in-studio guest you'll also hear George Burns, Red Skelton and even the great Johnny Carson stop by.  The lesson he's learned from all these funny guys?Don't take yourself too seriously and laugh at yourself!For those of you that would like to know more, or to reach out to Brad you'll find him at  And for his magic show, you can go to Support the show (
Today we’re going to hear another Waterway Interview.  While coming up the Chesapeake we had a fuel stop on Kent Island, where we met up with a follower of our expedition that wanted to meet us there and escort us across  the bay to Annapolis.  Our escort was Daniel Zick, and after getting settled on the other side of the Chesapeake, we went to dinner with he and his new bride Catherine.  While at dinner we discussed our need for a local interview and he set us up with his grandfather, Robert Elber Zick Jr, a local retired Pastor and a veteran of WWII. Elber it turns out, was a character with a maniacal laugh, which you will hear.  At the time of the interview he was 88, and I heard just a few years ago that he’d passed away at the age of 95.  He’d said during the interview that he he’d like to see 100.  He almost made it. He was a kind man with some amazing experiences.  He gives the credit for his success to others, he talks about faith, about the youth of America, and what he thinks is important for the future.Support the show (
I met today’s American at a live event a few years back.  He’s a DJ, a disc jockey, but that term has come to mean more than just a player of records.Jason is a marketing expert, music expert, entertainer, social facilitator, and a performance artist.  He’s been hit by Covid like the rest of us, but he’s found an angle, and he’s turned the tables on the pandemic.Listen in as Jason talks about what's important to him, and his take on surviving the Covid. You can check out what he does at  Support the show (
Today I've gone slightly off-format to bring you a short speech made by former President Reagan in August of 1984.  If you've never heard it, it's worth a listen.  He brings up some important points that bear remembering.Support the show (
I recently reconnected with today's American on Linked In.  I worked with Burnie some years back on, among other things, a car commercial, but have been following his career for some time.  Burnie is a gaffer... a lighting guy, and he has some great stories from the set, and an interesting story about a famous singer, but that’s not all there is to the story of Craig “Burnie” Burns.  He had a rough start, and if it weren’t for one special person, his story might have had a different ending.  What made the difference?  Quotes to watch for:"Eventually I was so incorrigible that I was actually kicked out of the state of Washington." "Learning new things never stops.  It’s not like I know all the things, I’m learning from people too.” “If you want to”Check out Burnie’s Apple Box and On Set Live on FaceBook: the show (
Jill Peterson talks about how she got the crazy idea to bike across America, the nearly ten years it took to plan, and the adventure of executing her plan.  She wrote a book about the adventure titled, "You Only Die Once."  Here's a story about an ordinary person that decided to do something extraordinary. Quotes to watch for:“The more I played with the numbers, the more it got into my mind that I wanted to do it.”“Some of it was the rush of knowing that I’m doing something that could actually kill me.”“One of my pet peeves is when people say, ‘you only live once,’ because for me, you live every single day if you’re doing it right. And you only get one death.” Her book is "You Only Die Once" by Jillyn Hawkley Peterson. Available on Amazon at the show (
Today we’re going to hear another story from what I call the Waterway Interviews, captured during a documentary expedition in a small boat, from Norfolk to Boston. Each day we’d end up in a new port and each day we’d find someone to interview.  I collected a batch of interviews from an interesting cross-section of Americans.This interview takes place in Norfolk, and in this shortest of episodes we hear from Jake and his father Dave.  At 17 Jake was diagnosed with Lymphoma.  As the family and friends rallied, Jake began a fight for his life, a fight that fortunately he was able to win.Here, he and his dad tell the story of Team Jake.Support the show (
Jana talks about the loss of her father and the dissolution of her family at a young age.  When her mother spirals into alcoholism, the siblings end up in foster care.  Here she talks about loss, change, the destruction of a family, and the discovery of another.  When she could be bitter, she's remained positive.  She lifts others wherever she is, and you’d never know that there was once a darker side to her life.Even in the telling she avoids the dark and keeps it bright.Quote to watch for: "I wanted to adopt some kids...and I went down to the police station to get fingerprinted, and there was this lady laying on the sidewalk...and they walked her in...and I looked and it was my mother."Support the show (
Michelle Borquez was born and raised in Santa Monica California.  Even as a child she had a desire to help others.  As she began her career she learned the skills she would need to realize her goals, and then, she took her desire to help people and turned it into a thriving business. Here she talks about overcoming fear, discovering her love of helping others, and what it means to be a Go2Girl.Quote to watch for:“I just made my company be a company that I would want to use.  I wanted to make sure we were honest...professional...and we were helpful.  If we went into the home of an older person, and they had no family, and they didn’t have a lot of food in their refrigerator, one of us ladies would go out and make sure their refrigerator would get filled up.” Check out Support the show (
Bill McGowan talks career change, creativity, and the state of things.I recently rediscovered today’s guest on LinkedIn.  Bill McGowan is a writer, now ad agency guru, and I’ve known Bill easily for 30 years.   In 2008 the recession hit and like many, Bill was forced to make some changes.  He gave up the writing gig and had to reinvent his future.His insights are unique to the creative field, and yet universal to many of us.  I think you’ll enjoy his passion.Quotes to watch for: “There are winners, there are losers, there are hard knocks...the wonderful thing learn very little from success, you learn a lot more from failure.”  On the creative process: “...always create.  When you think about it, that’s the soul of the universe, creation.”You can reach bill at BMCGCreative.comSupport the show (
Nashville is considered the music capital of the world, where talent can even be found in the local McDonald’s. That’s where I met Ron Crites just over a year ago.  He’s a master musician who’s opened for name talent across the South.  But I didn’t meet him standing in line to order, he was actually playing a gig on stage in the restaurant.  So as you can guess, this is no ordinary McDonald’s.Ron is pure country through and through and you have to admire his passion and love of the guitar.  As he tells his story, he’ll play some favorites and an original song and reveal his secret to success.  You can check out Ron’s music at  Support the show (
Today we’re going to hear a story from what I call the waterway interviews, captured during a documentary expedition in a small boat, from Norfolk to Boston. Each day we’d end up in a new port and each day we’d find someone to interview.  I collected a batch of interviews from an interesting cross-section of Americans.I interviewed immigrants, professors, evangelists, families, and even a tornado survivor.Today we’re going to hear from Thuy, (Twee).  Her story is fascinating, not only because as a child she and her family had to flee Vietnam in a boat, but also because of her attitudes towards America.  She talks about why they left and what they hoped to find, about getting to America and about racism, about opportunity and hard work.  It’s a positive story and at the end she has interesting advice for those unhappy with the country. Quote to watch for:"That’s why I don’t have the tolerance for people who say they hate this country.  Yes we do have flaws, we’re not perfect, nothing is perfect, but I think overall, America, there’s no place like it.”Support the show (
I met Big C at a truck stop on the California Arizona border, where he was selling his CDs by performing and playing his music in the parking lot.  It was 11:30 at night and over 100 degrees.His story is one of talent and drive, a descent into darkness and redemption; and his music and tenacity to succeed are the ingredients that helped him survive.You’ll love his honesty and his vibe, and I play some of his music too.  You have to check him out and I think you’ll find a new favorite.Quote to watch for:“It seemed like everything was going downhill and...I wanted to change my life, so I music to pull me out of it.  That’s why I tell people that my music has literally saved my life.”Check out his music at the show (
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