Chew on This

While we are exploring what our national language is, one company has spoken the language of popcorn for 101 years.

Jolly Time Popcorn was started in Sioux City, Iowa in 1914 by Cloid Smith.

The ever popular popcorn grown by local farmers is even more on our lips. The non-GMO, whole grain popcorn is full of fiber and antioxidants. Just what healthy bodies crave today.

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The K+ Brain Food

K+, that’s the symbol for potassium. And potassium powers every electrical signal in the brain.

Inventors use a lot of neural circuitry. How much potassium do they need?

Quite a lot! Recommended daily values are 3500mg and much more for women, up to 4500mg. The later is 10 bananas.

Power on your mind with potassium rich foods. Make a conscious effort to get the daily requirement. You will eat better for it and maybe avoid dementia in elder years.

If You Want to Send Your Money Far Away

I suggest buying a Smokering from Oomingmak.

An Alaskan cooperative of near 250 women living in remote villages will hand sew this hood-scarf from the “down” of a musk ox and send it to you.

Qiviut is actually an underwool shed yearly by the Alaskan musk ox. It is soft, weighs little, and holds warmth much better than wool. It is a renewable product having few environmental effects.

The co-op ladies have even made a 2 minute video showing the scarf-making process from animal to loom.

If you want a truly unique gift made in the USA, this is it!

Spread Holiday Cheer Locally

You can give holiday cheer to your community by purchasing from local merchants this Christmas. Keep hard earned dollars circulating in your town.

And I am not referring to stores carrying foreign made products. So think outside the box and place new surprises under the tree. Here’s a suggested list:

-> handcrafted candies from a local candy maker
-> Subway gift card
-> gift voucher to the barber or hair dresser
-> movie tickets
-> membership to a health club
-> home repair gift card
-> subscription to local newspaper
-> weekend stay at local bed and breakfast
-> make a winter emergency kit for the car
-> open a bank account that offers insurance
-> tour local museum and purchase books
-> feast from the local BBQ guy
-> gift money for a night on the town
-> locally popped popcorn
-> a fishing license

You get the idea!

I call this ReUSAing. If we focus on spending money in our own neighborhoods instead of sending it far away overseas, we will quickly give ourselves a secure, prosperous home town.

Obviously the things to avoid are the usual clothing and electronics under the tree as almost all send our money away, far away. In time though, we’ll be ReUSAing these, too.

Are You Wearing the National Debt?

The polite answer is most debtfinitely yes. Take footwear as an example. The American Apparel and Footwear Association says that 99 percent of all shoes are made in a foreign country. With every step we take, the U.S. trade deficit increases and our national debt soars.

There is an old saying, “people vote with their feet.” And we have voted to offshore shoe production giving greedy companies ever larger profits.

It’s time to “throw the shoe” at offshoring. Companies respond to consumer demand. It’s the only way they stay in business. Make the demand, “I’ll wear your shoes when they are made in Smalltown America, paying wages and benefits to American workers, and plunging profit dollars into local communities.”

How can I begin to vote with my feet? It won’t be easy, but there are a few footwear manufacturers still in America.

Allen Edmunds manufactures a medium price range dress shoe in Wisconsin. Sundance Sheepskin and Leather makes slippers in Colorado. And New Balance still makes some running shoes in Massachusetts and Maine.

Finally, included in this article is the story of backpack maker Dana Gleason who went offshore and later moved production back to the USA and why. The why in this article is a tipping point, an example opportunity to guide everyone who wants to build an American manufacturing company.

Source: “Twenty Rugged Survivors in Dying Industries” by Bloomberg Businessweek Small Business.

Timing Made Carpetbagger Rich

That being in the right place at the right time can make you wealthy is no joke. Monroe Dunaway Anderson moved to the right place and at the right time to become a top cotton broker in Houston, Texas.

Born during late Reconstruction in the southern town of Jackson, Tennessee to a banker father, Monroe attended college and learned the banking business.

Monroe’s brother, Frank Anderson, went west to Oklahoma in pursuit of fortune. Frank became a cotton trader. In 1904, Frank persuaded brother Monroe to put up capital for a new business buying and selling cotton.

In 1907, Monroe relocated to Houston for the deeper pockets of funding created by the Texas oil boom. Their business, Anderson, Clayton and Co., took off in 1914 with the opening of the Houston Shipping Channel, a sea way to the world. Anderson, Clayton and Co. became the largest exporter of cotton.

Upon his death in 1939, the never married Monroe Dunaway Anderson left behind a tidy thrift of $19 million to a family foundation. Trustees of the foundation used the money to seed a specialized center of medicine named for its benefactor, the MD Anderson Hospital for Cancer Research of The University of Texas, or just MD Anderson as it is commonly called throughout the world.

Cadillac of Duck Blinds

As a member of the Wheeler Island Duck Club from 1957 to 1977, Henry A. Smith knew all too well the problems associated with in-ground, wooden blinds. Made from California redwood, they were cramped, cold and damp.

Smitty set out to construct a better duck blind.

He built a permanent fiberglass, tank-like structure that did not leak. A 360-degree, swivel seat allowed the hunter to see ducks coming from all distances.

The enclosure afforded room to shoot. A heater gave warmth. And convenient shelving for ammo, food, and other supplies made it a luxury in the reeds.

For his ingenuity, Henry Smith received a patent in May 1970 for a “Hunting blind construction and adjustable seat.”

Dimensions of duck blind.