Publisher’s Corner

It’s A Guy Thing!

I spent a lot of ink last month praising the women in my life both at work and at home. Now I want to give fair time to the men in my life, too. I realize that only 16% of our readers are men according to all the readership surveys we have done over the past 20 years. But that still means we have more than 14,000 men reading the “Planet” every month. Of course we know that men don’t like to think about their healthcare. “Men don’t go to the doctor because they are afraid they might find something.” Truth is, men need to “suck it up” and get that prostate and blood pressure checked. Come on guys! Eat a salad once in a while.

My father Chuck died when I was 20. He was only 48 years old. He led a challenged life of alcohol and tobacco addiction which exacerbated his heart disease. He taught me to tie my tie, which I hardly ever end up wearing, but it’s the journey that matters, not the destination. I remember all the good things about my dad. He announced little league baseball in Bethany, Missouri. He took us floating on many of Missouri’s beautiful rivers and chauffeured numerous Sunday drives in the country. He loved fishing, bowling, barbecuing and making people laugh. He had a charming personality and was an award-winning salesman. He wrestled with us on the living room carpet and ate bread and butter with every meal. He died way too soon. And I wish my daughters and grandson could have known him. They would know where I get my wonderful sense of humor. LOL. He served his country in the South Pacific during WWII and was awarded the Purple Heart. He was my dad and I miss his bear hugs & flat top crew cut. And that twinkle in his steely blue eyes.

My Uncle Jim, my mother’s brother, taught me the importance of a business plan. He was a very successful businessman who also searched for personal enlightenment later in life. As a mentor, he was helpful in the launching of this magazine 20 years ago. The loving father of five, he was quick with a smile, constructive criticism and pretty much told you what he thought. He was not perfect either, but I have found that the best people in life wear their scars of experience as badges. He made lemonade when life gave him lemons.

I learned golf from my older brother Bill. Many golf trips enjoyed and more to come I hope. He was my first best friend. And is still a good buddy. He is a man who loves tradition and a gourmet cook. And as he puts it “the good-looking brother.”

My father-in-law Kay (Ojii) Inaba taught me it is never too late to be a good father and grandfather. A work-a-holic most of his life, he became a good friend, a loving grandfather and father. He was funny, a good golfer, and lived a long and healthy life. He was friendly with every stranger he met. Miss you Ojii.

My buddies Kevin, Dennis, Mike, and Big Bill have shared many moments of “boy” talk over the years. Mostly about sports and politics as two are liberals and two are conservatives. We have had many lively conversations on the golf course or at lunch. I learned a lot from my old high school buddies, too, mostly what will get you in trouble. LOL. Men don’t make friends as easily as women do. So when we get male friends, we like to keep them. Men friends might argue, but they usually just grump and move on. Who’s up? You have the honors. Get up there and knock it in the woods knucklehead!

My grandson Jackson has rekindled my unconditional love. The love of a child is precious. He will be such a great man some day. Hope I am around to see him hit his first home run, graduate and marry. Enjoying the time we spend together now throwing the ball, wrestling on the couch and watching A Bug’s Life for the 50th time. I will always share my potato sticks with you buddy!
I love all you guys! J.B. Lester, Publisher