I was 25 years old. Bankrupt. Medicaid. Applying for food stamps. Car repossessed. My wife and I were at the lowest of low. Neither of us made it through college. Five kids. I felt like a total failure — as a husband, as a father, and as a provider.
Darin and his mentor, Jeff Olson
Opportunities were scarce in our small Virginia town. I needed help. Guidance. Someone to show me the way.
My Dad? A faithful Christian. A family man. Growing up, he helped others in need, even when we were scraping to get by. He was a wonderful man, and I count myself very blessed. But it was clear I needed a different kind of help, from a different kind of mentor. Life smarts. Business savvy. Principles for success. I went on the hunt…
I found Jeff Olson. He wrote a book called The Slight Edge, among others. What I learned from him has defined my life. READ MORE
In 1960, I was just 12. Remember The Christmas Story? Little Ralphie. The Red Ryder BB Gun? I was obsessed. I had to have one. Grand visions of hunting with Chubby, my dad. One problem … it was July. Christmas was six months away.
I consulted the big man about it. “Well,” Dad said, “Aaron could use some help at the office. Let me see what I can do.”
Aaron “Meticulosity” Greenlee
Aaron was a gentleman in his 60’s. The custodian. The comedian. Cracking jokes with the agents. Everyone loved Aaron. His “office”? A plywood enclosure in the basement. His black metal desk… meticulous. Pens and pencils lined up like soldiers. The surface — polished to perfection.
Dad’s real estate office had cherry wood paneling and mahogany desks. So my first assignment from Aaron — wood polishing. I worked the entire morning. Polished every square inch of that wood. Aaron would be impressed. He would tell Chubby. A bonus for sure!
When I was a kid, Dad didn’t sleep. On weekdays, he’d leave each morning at 8, stay at the office all night, come home at first light, shower, shave, a quick plate of eggs, a hug for Mom, and back at it again.
It was Saturday morning. I munched Sugar Pops. Chubby ate eggs. “Dad,” I said, with a curious face, “On weekdays, why don’t you sleep?”
Chubby peered up from his plate, eyes double big-big.
“Didn’t Mom tell you? I was born without eyelids.”
I stared into Dad’s pupils. No eyelids? Yeah, right!READ MORE
Dad was proud. So was I.
I had worked hard to stand on that stage.
by Greg Hague
May 1974. Washington D.C.
Law school graduation. What a magnificent day!
May 2012. Another proud dad on his son’s magnificent day. My son, Casey’s law school graduation (with me).
I felt like I’d made it in life. Such innocence. It makes me smile today. The ceremony concluded. Chubby left with me. I drove. We were alone.
My dad was normally a talkative man. Not that day. Strange? We drove blocks without saying a word. He then looked over and said, “Greg, would you like to stop for a snack?” I said, “Sure, why not.” I was always up for a snack. READ MORE