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“I left the legislature in 2002 after serving 2 years as Caucus Chairman, 9 years as Minority Leader and 7 years as Speaker of the House.  Look what the two of you helped start. …Good luck Rick in your run for the legislature. You will be outstanding.” 

Former State Representative Clyde Ballard
(E. Wenatchee, Washington)

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The Voice for the People"
525 Judd Road
Saline, MI 48176

Growing Connections With My Boys - With Miraculous Results

After the Wall, my wife Linda was gone one August weekend, leaving our two boys, Brad and Kirk, with me. We decided to go backpacking, so we loaded the gear in our brown Ford Fairmont station wagon and drove to the trailhead to walk up to Colchuck Lake, in the Alpine Lakes area of the Cascades in Washington State early on a Friday afternoon. I was loaded down pretty heavily, with the tent, sleeping bags, gas stove, food, clothing, fishing gear, AND the inflatable rubber raft and oars all inside or strapped onto my expedition pack. The hike was four and a half miles, gaining about 2000’ of elevation. The destination is a gorgeous lake in a cirque, with steep mountain peaks on all sides except the north where the outlet creek tumbles down the mountain. Snow still lay in the mountain shadowed slopes. The weather there was also gorgeous, with the bluest blue skies imaginable, no clouds and a comfortable 75-80 degrees. We were able to pitch the tent right on the shore, on the edge of a rock that extended out into the clear mountain lake.

The next two and a half days were spent slowly paddling around the lake fishing for trout and yep, I actually caught some for a change. Between fishing and short day hikes, we lay around in the tent or on the warm granite rocks talking. I shared with them some of the things I had learned at the Wall. We discussed how we wanted life to be between us. It was a wonderful, unforgettable weekend.

The upshot of all this is that the following year, we moved from Washington back to Michigan. In Michigan, Kirk began to behave differently. He actually had not been a nice boy in Washington, to the point that my Mom even said once, “That Kirk, he’s a little stinker, isn’t he?” But, since moving to Michigan in 1989, he turned over a new leaf and has been a joy since. Later he told me, he just did not want to be the same as he had been, so decided to change. I fully believe that he felt he could change because he had seen me change how I acted and how we interacted differently. What an unexpected blessing from the personal development course, and a testament to what we can create when we change how we think.

A Formula for Success (biography continued)

Get to know me

My Life Looked at Through a Different Lens

The Beginnings

The Importance of Education: The Huge Potential in All of Us

Mom’s Mental Toughness and What Rubbed Off On Me

Connections To Positive Psychology

My Meandering Career – What’s It All About?

Powerful Personal Development Influences in My Life

One Last Story, but Not About Me