Lonsdale Chamber of Commerce, MN

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In the acknowledgements of “After This…”, I reference my friend, John Vollertsen, for giving me the best Thanksgiving ever.

This all comes as a result of the situation I was in back at Thanksgiving 1994. I was a 19 year old kid, living in Denver, CO, 800 miles from home and stuck in a rehab school I loathed. John, whom I’d known since we were 14, was living in Boulder, just half an hour up the road. When the rehab school would get unbearable, John would swing down to Denver, pick me up for a weekend of non-rehab debochery. I treasured those times so, SO much; just having a friend-an old friend, so nearby who was such a support gave me a lot of peace of mind at that time.

And Thanksgiving? This was the first major holiday in my 19 years NOT spent with my family. Yet, John, his girlfriend, roommate, myself and a couple other stragglers ended up at John’s apartment for the Turkey Day feast. To be in such a fun environment, without family when we all needed to feel some sense of family, still ranks as one of my favorite holidays…ever.

Now, a decade and a half later, John is living in Minnesota and involved in his area Chamber of Commerce. When he asked if I’d be willing to deliver a speech to his Chamber…it’s a no brainer.

So, thanks to the Chamber, but also thanks to John for believing that messed up kid in 1994 could have something valueable to say to local business owners in 2010. Thanks, everyone!

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