Article: Peter Shanks, VIP and RIP

Another fabulous soul and friend enters the ultimate portal
By Brian R. Wright (Still on Twitter for the time being)

A good and distinguished friend of mine, most recently located in the Philippines, passed away a few weeks ago. I extend my warmest condolences to two of his sons that were avenues toward my meeting and getting to know Peter, as well as my sympathies to Peter’s family in the Philippines, and to his many personal friends worldwide. He was a fine English gentleman and an inspirational presence, constantly conveying a learned and effective can-do approach to life’s curves and fast balls. I put this column together from contributions by his sons, Steve, James, and Martin… as well as my own recollections.

First. my own thoughts

I came to know Peter—it would have been plus or minus a few years around 2010—when he visited his son, Steve, nearby in Northville, Michigan, USA. In those days I was part of a regular foursome who would play golf on Saturdays, mostly, at local courses. And for a spell, he would sub for one member or the other of the foursome. Peter was in his mid-70s in those days and we were in our early 60s. The photo, above right, shows Peter, probably while he was still a business leader in England when he would have been 60-something.

Steve, his son, I had worked with at an EDI (electronic data interchange) software company in Livonia.. At some point after I had left that EDI company, Steve became a member of the Western Golf and Country Club of Detroit and was close to a scratch-handicap (par) player. It was during this time that Steve introduced me to his father. As you’ll see from the obit-like details, Peter was at one time a professional golfer in England, with several notable wins and accomplishments. Continue reading

Book Review: Think and Grow Rich (1937)

Motivational classic still inspires
by Napoleon Hill
1937, Ballantine Books (1996 edition), 254 pages

NapoleonDuring my early prime-time adulthood, being wrapped in the Ayn Rand critique of impure reason, I dissed any popular ideas that promised riches and happiness through positive thinking, motivational savvy, or winning friends and influencing people.

Such exercises seemed far beneath my heroic noodling out of all the important, planet-saving concepts with my engineering brilliance, then riding off into the smog-filled sunset with the Dagny Taggart of my dreams.

How times have changed, how we’ve all changed.

This inspirational classic by Napoleon Hill is still as pertinent to success as when it was written, during the depths of The Great Depression (1937). Continue reading