Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

My father is retired. He is a former president and CEO of the B.F.Goodrich Tire Company and Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Company. He gave hundreds of speeches during his career.

Several months ago, he calls me and says he wants to put his four best speeches in a book. He says, “I think what I said thirty-five years ago is still very pertinent today and the message should be heard.”

He goes on to say, “I want to publish this book and I couldn’t think of anyone who could do this for me.”

Then he says, “Then I thought of you and that little shell company you formed.”

Thanks Dad – (I formed the publishing company a year ago for the purpose of publishing these books I’m working on – there eleven now in the pipeline).

So I asked him what he wanted to do with this book of his four speeches. He wants to give them out to his friends, his family, and others who he can spread the word with.

I said to him, “That’s great Dad, but your friends are all dead (he’s 85 years young). Your family is very small and trust me, the folks who are going to like your message will be the choir you preach to.”

So the cost of each book will likely be $3,500. He didn’t care. Do it he says.

Triple – A type personalities are sometimes difficult to deal with.

He sends me the four speeches. I was flabbergasted. The vision he had 35-years ago was amazing. He even predicted certain things that have come true since then. So I have this idea. Why not get contributing chapters to each speech from a different author who will talk about the topic Dad addressed in the speech and put it into the context of today’s world?

Brilliant idea. Simple. Easy to execute. Won’t take much time. Just find four people to write the accompanying chapters. I know just the folks to approach.

Wrong. The problem with finding the right people to write the chapters is that they are very busy people. So it has taken a little longer than expected. I’ve now got two of the four speeches covered (thank you to David Bohan and Chuck DeVore).

Then I get his letter. In it he writes, “I want this wrapped up by November 15th” –
(and that would be 2013 and not 2014). We had to have a nice father-to-son discussion about expectations.

So I find someone to come up with options for the book cover. I told Roy, “Be quick because I’ve gotta get him something tangible to look at.” We’ll have them the day before Thanksgiving. Thank you Roy. You’ve bought me two extra weeks.

So my journey continues.

It’s one of the best journeys I’ve had in my life.

Good luck and good networking.


3 Responses to “ Here Today, Gone Tomorrow ”

  1. John Byers
    December 17, 2013

    Stew, this is a great post and concept–I cannot wait to read it. Is there any initiative with your additional authors to have “lessons from fathers” type of expansion.

  2. December 17, 2013

    Stew, I like this because as I get older, I become even more hungry to hear the knowledge of prior generations. So often we think we are facing something new when in reality, our challenges are similiar to the generations before us but wrapped in a modern package. This would be a great read!!

  3. December 18, 2013

    Cannot wait to see the finished product. Will be interesting to read your father’s perspectives from his generation. I suspect we will be able to learn a thing or two from his experience. What an opportunity for you to work with him on this.

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