I was searching for an old blog post over the weekend when I stumbled upon a eulogy for a dearly departed friend and mentor. And, as readers come and readers go, some may not have heard about my friend George Nelson who departed terra firma two years ago this weekend.
We enjoyed a chance encounter the prior summer when we bumped into each other at the Madison Club...both of us vowing to get together soon. And, we never did.
I've lost a couple more friends this past year with whom I wish I could have shared with them how much they meant to me. When will I learn not to put off these opportunities?
I first heard Susan Tedeschi on our local "progressive rock" radio station back around the turn of the century. I was transfixed by her rich snarl...which she could produce with both her voice and her guitar.
During the first decade of this millennium, she and husband Derek Trucks fronted their own projects...with Derek also spending time in the Allman Brothers Band. Indeed, that's how they met. Susan opened for the Allmans on their '99 tour...and the rest, as they say, is history.
But, in 2010, they formed the Tedeschi Trucks Band. And, their onstage and musical chemistry produced something even more magical.
Or, do you call it Alternate Facts? From the President's Press Secretary's math to a local government official that proclaims a Destination Marketing Organization is out of touch because they don't (fill in the blank), when they clearly do.
A little information can be a dangerous thing in the hands of someone trying to blow up an organization or an individual doing a very strategic thing in a very unsophisticated environment.
Cyprus Tourism's Angelos Loizou countered with this: “None of you would want Crete’s tourism – not with an average €460 per-head spending.” That's why Cyprus targets consumer in countries (like Germany) which average €900 spending per head.
“We should be aware of these things so we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot,” he said.
Sadly, that isn't as easily understood by a media that can only grasp simple math. But that's no reason we stop trying to break through.
OK...it happened. To the disbelief of a majority of Americans, Donald Trump is officially the President of the United States of America. And, now...the great dismantling of iconic institutions such as the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is set to commence.
But I see opportunities in these Presidential proclamations. Let's say that government gets out of the arts and culture game (which, let me be clear, I think is boneheaded as hell). Will this result in corporate America stepping up to fill the void?
The annual budget of the NEA is roughly $150 million. Apple and Bill Gates together could double that tomorrow without breaking a sweat. Imagine if the members of the Fortune 500 club each contributed $1 million to arts in our schools. The NEA would look positively cute by comparison.
Have we, as a society, allowed government to operate in such a way that the private sector has been able to shrug off its responsibility to the greater good? We're about to see.
You gotta love the first few lines of his online bio:
"So, what to make of this Rick Brantley? This seeker of the life-changing novel and the perfect pair of beat-to-hell boots; this connoisseur of the cool classic movie and the greasiest dive-bar cheeseburger, disciple of the museum’s masterpiece and the panhandler’s wiliest street-pitch? This guy who lives it, loves it, takes it all in and pours out something so tight and right you just gotta hear it again and again."
Terri and I were on a Destination Assessment assignment a couple years ago when we stumbled upon a Farmer's Market. I was instantly drawn to one vendor that was offering his best produce...along side his "worst" (click on image to enlarge).
I asked him which sold out first. He laughed and said, "the ugly ones."
Indeed, over a fourth of all produce in this country is thrown out because it's deemed not "pretty" enough for a grocery store or restaurant to purchase. That's billions of pounds of food waste and billions of dollars lost.
But a new initiative at Hy-Vee grocery stores is hoping to reverse that trend. Called "Misfits," Hy-Vee is taking a page from the playbook of our Farmer's Market friend and offering "ugly" fruit and veggies at 30% off.
As citizens of the world travel in increasing numbers, the inevitable residential push back is sure to occur. And, as we've said before, responsible Destination Marketers need to be sensitive to the fact that our success bears the seeds of our demise.
While most destinations give lip service to sustainability, the island nation of Palauhas thrown down the gauntlet. The President has introduced a bill that would restrict all lodging on the island to be 5-star as a way of eliminating hoards of tourists traveling on a shoestring.
The President said, "do we want to control growth or do we want growth to control us?"