Radiate and Emanate!
‘Karen and Jay share the excitement of ‘Positive Energy.’
Positive energy is exciting. It starts with attitude. We each have the power to choose, and not surprisingly, the magic begins to happen when we commit ourselves to the positive vibe. Right then, almost amazingly, everything starts to change. The day brightens. Opportunities multiply. And, most important, your positive energy actually radiates and emanates – creating a magnetism, attracting positive vibes from all those around you. Good luck just seems to come your way. And, yes, it is a choice.
Such is the story of a young man named Charley Boswell from Birmingham, Alabama. Before the breakout of World War II, Charley was offered a full scholarship to the University of Alabama to play for the famed Crimson Tide football team. A multi-sport talent, Charley also received offers from other universities and even minor league baseball teams to try his hand at making it to the big leagues. After graduating with honors from Alabama where he was a star student as well a star athlete, he accepted a contract to play for a AA baseball team in Atlanta. He was on his way to becoming a big sports star. But then World War II broke out, and Charley was drafted into the Army only days later. Charley made his way through basic training and was quickly nominated by his superiors for Officer Candidate School (OCS). After OCS, Charley was fast-tracked to promotion and was given command of a tank battalion in the 84th Infantry Division. From school to sports to fighting for his country, Charley truly was the All-American guy. He shipped out to Europe and his unit began seeing action immediately. During a particularly fierce firefight, Charley’s tank was hit with an anti-tank shell, causing his tank to catch fire. Instead of jumping out, Charley jumped back inside to help save his crew. As he did so, his tank was hit again, this time propelling Charley almost 30 yards away where he was found unconscious following the fight. He woke up a week later to find out that he had completely lost his sight and would never see again.
As he went through rehabilitation, learning how to walk and talk again, Charley found it difficult to accept his new disability. His wife regularly noted to his doctors how his outlook began to worsen. She expressed concern that while he was physically recovering, mentally he was declining. Then one day, a friend of his came by to check in. “How about we go play some golf?” his friend said. Charley grumbled. “How in the world can I hit a golf ball when I can’t even see it?” His friend said he’d help him swing and so the two made their way to the local golf club. When they got to the first tee, Charley remained pessimistic that what he was attempting to do was futile. His friend remained confident. “All you have to do is believe that you can hit the ball.” He handed Charley a golf club, and Charley, being the natural athlete that he was, ended up hitting the ball over 200 yards right down the middle of the fairway on his first drive. With renewed confidence that he wasn’t condemned to a life away from sports which had always been his passion, Charley began practicing his swing. Little by little his training paid off and Charley would go on to win 16 national blind golfing championships and 11 international championships over the course of his career. Charley was inducted into the Alabama Hall of Fame and even hit three holes-in-one! He also began a charity golf tournament which would go on to raise millions of dollars to help people who are vision impaired.
Years later, Charley reflected on his career and how it almost didn’t even start. “After the war, I truly believed I would never lead a normal life, and this led me to doubt myself. I developed a pretty negative outlook, namely because I didn’t believe in myself. But something clicked in me when my friend took me to the golf course. Much of life is similar to what he said that day, ‘All you have to do is believe’. And while it took time, that’s what I began to do.” It’s an impressively powerful story. When I first heard it, I found it almost hard to believe myself. What struck me though was how much adversity this man had faced, even including adversity he had mentally created for himself, and how he recognized that by beginning to believe in himself, his previously negative outlook shifted to a positive one. And once that happened, he was able to achieve incredible things.
I often talk about the power of positive thinking, namely because it’s made an incredibly positive impact in my life. Sometimes though, it can seem like an impossible task to simply change your mindset from negative to positive. Other times, it can just feel like tone deaf advice. So, I share Charley's story because it’s not ‘smoke and mirrors,’ instead it’s a real-life example of what happens when we choose to think positively, ‘choose’ being the key word. For those of us who may have trouble finding the silver lining, I’m here to remind you that it is a gradual process and takes time and commitment. But, if we take small steps like reframing our thoughts ( i.e. “I have to do something” versus “I get to do something or “Have the time to do something”), taking better care of our physical fitness and health, or doing one good deed a day, we begin choosing our happiness over everything else. And in turn, that positivity can change other people’s lives too, much like Charley.
Family Fun - Right Around the Corner
As summer is on the horizon and the pandemic begins to ebb, the opportunity for family fun in New Hampshire is right around the corner. I remember growing up and going on mini-family vacations to our Granite State’s North Country – visiting tourist attractions like Santa’s Village, Six Gun City, Clark’s Trading Post (trained bears), and Storyland. What an incredibly exciting time it was to be a kid! And, the great news is – this same kind of fun is in the offing for this summer as well.
Due the pandemic, many of the fun seasonal venues didn't open last summer. But that's not happening this year. In fact, some family friendly places are expanding because they know their businesses provide immense value in the community, and even more importantly, they know families are ready for some fun!
Here are just a few of the great places – and some of these may well be just down the road from where you are. For instance, Chucksters is a family fun venue with locations in Chichester and Hooksett including activity centers and mini golf. And to show a commitment to expansion and dedication to overcoming the pandemic, the organization is launching a 3500 square foot bumper boat ride! Talk about a ton of fun!
In Litchfield, Mel's Fun Park is a staple in southern New Hampshire. Home to attractions including Nightmare New England, and soft and fast pitch batting cages, Mel’s is an awesome experience. Over the years, Mel’s has been on a continuous path of expansion, and this year even welcoming a new restaurant which will create jobs and opportunity.
And last, I can’t forget to mention Funspot in Laconia, which holds the Guinness world record for most arcade games under one roof. These are just a few exciting things you and your family can participate in across our great state.
So, start planning your summer day trips and get ready for a whole lot of fun at some great family friendly, I fun places!
Newport Opera House – Big News!
Big news is coming to my hometown of Newport, NH. Our iconic Newport Opera House is completing an exciting renovation. This beautiful venue, originally built in 1872, is getting a complete overhaul – completing nearly $1.3 million in restorations and upgrades that will make the Newport Opera House one of the very best concert venues north of Boston.
Huge thanks to all who have made this happen including Governor Sununu, pictured above, at the presentation award for a large block grant and tax credit incentive totaling over $500,000 for renovations. The Newport Opera House used to be the anchor for Newport’s once vibrant downtown and with hard work and dedication it will be again. In addition to the much-needed renovations, the grants and tax credit incentives will help the Opera House conduct a long overdue to its sound system, which will allow for an even more versatile use of the stage and sound space.
In addition, the Opera House will be installing a projector and screen so that in the future, performances can incorporate other visuals and who knows, maybe the occasional community movie viewing. All these upgrades will allow for even more performances as well as helping to enhance the great small town of Newport – serving as a magnet for attracting arts and culture to the Newport-Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee region.
Positive Profile of the Week: Bill Boyd
I am so very delighted to highlight my great friend, Bill Boyd, as our ‘Profile of the Week,’ and the timing could not be better. This past Tuesday, Bill won his special election for State Representative in Merrimack. This particular election was important on so many levels. First, it was to fill the vacancy following the passing of New Hampshire Speaker of the House Dick Hinch. Second, it was the first special election in New Hampshire, and 3rd, it gained national attention and spotlight as this election was a test on the feelings of the voters following the hotly contested presidential election. Despite being outspent 2:1 and nearly $35,000 in Washington DC special interest money being spent against him, Bill won overwhelmingly and in the coming days will be sworn in as the next State Representative from Merrimack.
Bill’s victory can be attributed to many things. The volunteers who worked so hard to see him succeed. His long record of positive involvement in his community of Merrimack. And, more. However, in the end, I believe it's the fact that the voters know Bill and have deep respect for his character and integrity.
A decade ago, the people of Merrimack elected Bill to the Town Council. Over his ten years representing his fellow Merrimack residents, Bill has brought fiscal responsibility and accountability to government and continues to be an advocate for clean water in his community. Bill showed that all politics are local. I’m truly delighted that his constituents have decided to send him to Concord, and I have no doubt they will for years to come.
Bill and his wife Michele are avid outdoors people. In addition to being an accomplished and avid runner, Bill is hugely active in the sport of dogsledding! Bill and Michele together operate the Midnight Run Kennel, featuring sled dogs and have competed all over North America. In fact, their teenage daughter is now a top prospect in the sport.
I'm so excited for this Boston College alumni who will proudly be representing his hometown in Concord. I also know that this is just the beginning. Congratulations to my great friend, Bill. Well done!
Quotes of the Week: Positive Energy
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor
“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it.” Steve Maraboli
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true.” Richard Bach
“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” Steve Maraboli
“When you are at peace, you attract positive energy.” Sen