Jack fails to make it in time – again – – –
Well the latest big surprise yesterday was an email telling me that ‘Tales of the Lonesome Pine’ was voted one of the top three bookstores in SW Virginia by readers of a Virginia wide tourism magazine.
I thought to begin with that it was some kind of scam, but after exchanging a series of emails with a nice lady it became clear that it was genuine.
This immediately raised a few questions –
The bookstore closed over a year ago and the building is now a private dwelling again, and the new owners probably wouldn’t want hordes of folk knocking on the door or even just walking straight in.
There again – who voted and how did they not know we’d closed?
To be clear, we had the best time running that bookstore for fourteen years and made it into a real community hub. We made many friends along the way. The only reasons we sold up and moved was that Wendy’s job could be handled more easily from where we are now in Wytheville, it felt like time to move on and the building needed more TLC than a seventy-eight-year-old guy could contemplate.
I tried to find out whether we would have been first, second or third, but for understandable reasons we couldn’t be told. I also asked if our votes could be transferred to our good friends at Oracle Books in Wytheville but no dice there either.
Sometimes life is just weird – – –
Filed under between books, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, home improvements, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch
Jack gets there in time again –
I’ve seen a lot recently about encouraging young folk to go for trades rather than university and I absolutely approve of that. I had a fairly miserable time at High School and only really enjoyed French, Art and Woodwork. So I left school at age fifteen with no formal qualifications and entered my apprenticeship as a house-painter and sign writer.
But the messages I’ve seen all concentrate on the amount of money to be made from the likes of plumbing or electrical work and I’d like to suggest that there are other, sometimes surprising, positive outcomes from following the trade path.
As part of my training I attended the local college and discovered that I could go there in the evenings and get the academic qualifications I’d failed to garner at school – English and Math. So I wound up with them plus the highest trade diploma in my specialism. Some years later this proved to be required for me to become a lecturer in the construction department of that same college.
That’s when I really finally entered higher education. I attended Jordanhill teacher training college in Glasgow and studied educational psychology among many other things. That was when I first encountered Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It was a revelation to me and cropped up regularly during my career progression from lowly part-time lecturer in painting, full-time lecturer, senior lecturer, head of the construction department and finally senior manager. It was only five years before my retirement that I finally attended Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh to gain my MBA.
Through all this Dr Maslow kept cropping up and nudging me – from student motivation through to team dynamics and leadership styles and even marketing strategies!
But it’s not just dry academic stuff. I look around the world right now and I can see how lucky I’ve been. I mean that I’ve managed to hover around the top of the pyramid, while an awful lot of folk aren’t so lucky. So the hierarchy of need continues to haunt me.
And – yes – follow a trade by all means. You won’t necessarily make a fortune but you might be surprised where it takes you!