US Adventure – People Exploration – Day 35 – Alexia, Mike, Leo & Josh – met at Country Corner Cafe in Simla, CO

Every day is a great day when it starts with clear blue skies and warm sunshine. I left Colorado Springs rather early and headed east. For some strange reason, I was hungry for breakfast.

So … winging it … I turned right onto Highway 24 and then looked for every non-franchise mom-and-pop type cafe continuing my mission to – Meet People, Make Friends and See if I can Help Make a Difference in People’s Lives.

In Simla, CO, I at first drove passed the Country Corner Cafe, but then I made a quick U-turn. There I went inside and was greeted by Alexia.Stan - Leo - Mike Alexia - Josh

Alexia thought it was great … that I was traveling alone, all the way from Arizona and California through Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, New York and all the way to Maine. She especially liked that I was not on any timetable and that I could do things as I wished – stopping where I’m wanted and eating where I wanted.

She said, “The reason I like Simla – it is small town and I’m comfortable walking to the park.” Alexia was excited when she said she’s been living in the town since she was 6 yrs old.

If she was ruler for a day, Alexia would like the people of the world to be kind to each other no matter what color their skin was.

What she wanted more of – she would like more of her family to live around her, or at least in the nearby area. She has relatives in Hawaii and CA that she doesn’t get to see much of.

But less of – how about ‘less drama’?

At the cafe, I also met Mike Kurtchi originally from Athens, Greece. He came as a 25 yrs old and cooked for a prince for a while in San Diego. As for being ‘ruler for a day’ Mike would not be responsible for if he was.

Leo – the public works director of Simla. Leo came from Lewiston, Maine but he’s been in Simla for 28 yrs. Ruler? – no thank you.

Josh – the chef cook worked there since 9 yrs old. No comment about being ruler.

I forgot to ask them if they’d be open to talk with successful mentors who could show them how they could make more money without devoting a lot of extra time to the business. There’s always excitement about ‘living the dream’ that could come to anyone … just by turning spending into earning.

US Adventure – People Exploration – Day 39 – Len – Semi-retired Entrepreneur – former CFO of Calvin Klein – from CT – met in Austin, MN

Incredible Day – it started with a heavy rain as I left Ames, Iowa. Heavy rain … and so I adjusted my travel plans to stay more to the main routes. I wanted smooth sailing (driving). For some reason, Spam (as in meat products) has kept coming into my life since I heard of a Spam Festival in Hawaii. Huh? I know …?

So on the fly … I mentally changed my route to go through Austin, Minnesota. That’s where the Spam Museum and the Hormel meat processing factory is. For some unknown reason, I meandered through the rural roads of northern Iowa and southern MN.

Since I’m on a mission to – Meet People, Make Friends and See if I can Help Make a Difference in People’s Lives – I was excited as dodged the scattered drops of rain while into the Spam Museum.Len and Stan at Spam Museum in Austin Minnesota_2

That’s where I met Len – who was taking photographs of exhibits – to take a photo of three ladies I had met (more on that in another blog).

He was on his way to Denver where he was going to deliver all kinds of things and household products and other stuff to his daughter Michelle. She teaches equestrian horseback jumping. on my way to Denver to deliver household product stuff still having same problems and as for my daughter Michelle who is teaching. His other daughter is a second-year resident at Columbia-Presbyterian, studying and focusing on Family Medicine, with a specialized focus on helping young women.

His wife Renee of 35 years packed all kinds of stuff that he was going to deliver. He mentioned that she sent him on his way with love in her heart. Len had worked hard all his life, in which he built his career rising to CFO of CK … and then retired early. He laughed when he said it gave him something to do. I interpreted what he said … as – I think – he hinted that she was giving him something to do and kindly get rid of him for a while. LOL …maybe.

He spoke lovingly of small town hamburger joints and quaint mom-and-pop cafes. He was specific about a great place he had found in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania – where there is a Rootin’ tootin’ hot dog place right off of Route 80.

Len told me he has a backpack in his SUV riding as a shotgun. Also, he has his camera bag handy and a ‘cat scratch’ pole for his daughter’s cat in the back seat.

I enjoyed talking with Len and we exchanged contact information. I might be so lucky to visit him when I pass through Connecticut in August. Wouldn’t that be absolutely great?

If you’re reading this … maybe join us?

US Adventure – People Exploration – Day 27 – Dora – Owner of Dos Hermanos restaurant in Antonito, NM

Wow – I have to go back in time – I’m meeting so many real cool people and I have to go back a some days. Going to 50 states is really tougher than I thought.

But I’m on a mission to – Meet People, Make Friends and See if I can Help Make a Difference in People’s Lives.

Stopping for a late breakfast in Antonito, I met Dora who has been in the small town in Colorado for 22 years.Dora and Stan at Dos Hermanos in Antonito CO

She loves cooking and she likes the customers that come into the restaurant. Most of the people who come in are her friends and there are several she’s known for 22 years. Dora likes being busy. She’s been waiting on tables since she was very little.

What she doesn’t like is … cleaning the deep fryer and … after a brief pause, she also admitted that putting groceries away wasn’t a favorite either.

Dora’s parents helped her at the restaurant from the beginning and it’s been about 2 years that they were no longer were able to. It was on a sad note when she said her father passed away about 3 months ago. She smiled saying her son helped her in the business too.Smothered chicken enchiladas at Dos Hermanos

I had a great meal which Kayla the waitress served.

About the area – Dora likes the mountains and the weather is just fantastic in the summer. There’s usually a lot of wind in the early spring. The economy is really not that good.

She would like to have more people to move up here because it is just really beautiful and she just enjoys living here.Norm


Norm played himself as a regular customer.


Dora says that as ruler of the world she would have everyone be kind to everyone.

US Adventure – People Exploration – Day 37 – Paul – Retired Computer Programmer of Allendale, MO

Oops – sorry, but I got side-tracked for a few days from my mission – Meet People, Make Friends and See if I can Help Make a Difference in People’s Lives. And getting to 50 states is really big deal. I’ve forgotten during the last 15 years of how difficult traveling can be. Still, I’m intense in my never ending search of trying to find amazing people to talk to.

It’s already Day 37 – time does fly – when you’re having fun.

It was at a free breakfast …
(though I rarely eat until noon,
but you know …
it’s hard to pass up => FREE!)

That’s when I met Paul from Allendale, Missouri. He was talking to his wife while eating some biscuits and gravy, when I overheard a slight southern drawl.Paul and Stan - Ames IA

We chatted … and he told me that he had been a computer programmer for over 25 years even though he also had owned a Sylva Learning business at a time when they thought his wife was going to be transferred.

About Allendale – small town of less than 500 – it’s quiet and peaceful there and that’s one of the main reasons he likes it living in a small town. In fact, he smiled when he boasted that … from their house, the nearest traffic light is 37 miles. Oh for sure, shopping is more than a little inconvenient, because it’s quite a distance away. But worth the drive, because the scenery is so great where they live. Yes, they have 22 wooded acres surrounding them along with a nice bass pond.

As ruler of the world for a day, Paul would outlaw ignorance and would instill that everybody learn something new for that day. He added that some people have ideals and that blinds them from reality.

One thing that really bugged him was the universal health care concept. He thinks it’s all messed up when the government takes resources from those who have resources and gives to those who do not have.

One thing in having a cause of making a difference in people’s lives, what he would do is trying to make changes before they get older – like 30. He felt that by the time people reach 30, it is probably lost in educating people on how to live better. Paul would try to do more realistic education with children.

For instance – In schools, we don’t teach children about money. We teach algebra and things which they will never use. He says that learning how to trade stocks has made a difference in his life, but using math – even as an electronics engineer he very rarely ever used algebra.

US Adventure – People Exploration – Day 26 – Dr Sutanto – Chiropractor of Gallup NM

Let me tell you – I’m on a mission – going to 50 states is really big deal to me. I haven’t been much of a traveler the last 15 years, but I’m intense in my never ending search of trying to find amazing people to talk to. Hey, I rarely have to look very far to find those interesting people.

Since I’m driving cross country – heading through Iowa, Wisconsin, upstate New York and the rest of New England – damn, I’ve bitten off a lot, but I love it, still feeling my way – just letting my intuition run wild … called a chiropractor and stopped off at his office to continue my mission to – Meet People, Make Friends and See if I can Help Make a Difference in People’s Lives.

Eleanor J_Sutanto and Stan_From minute one, I was impressed with John Sutanto, who has come out of retirement to Gallup, with his wife Eleanor who is from Zuni, from where he practiced for 28 years in the Chicago area.

I asked him … what do you find the most fulfilling about starting again after retirement?

“I found my emotional and intellectual balance.”

He said he was okay in the physical, but you have to be challenged in your mind … have to be challenged, so you have to be always seeking and learning. In his chiropractic practice, he knows that it’s always a learning process, even for him 28 years later. He always learns something every time and that’s how he’s able to grow and better himself and that learning process should never stop until the day you die.

What would you like to have more of in your life?
Well that’s a really hard question to answer. A lot of people says being happy … is more, but to me happiness is very generic term. It means something different for everybody – for the drunk, happiness is to have a drink; for the beggar, that might be is to get some money; for the homeless, happiness to have a home. To me, it’s more like to achieve that ‘balance in life’. Balance is the middle way, yes, the middle way. That means – not too much, not too little, all just in the right balance. Keeping the balance is just like the eye of the hurricane. There’s nothing there, but surrounded by powerful forces around them. You have to remain still, in the middle of it and that’s good. That’s really good.

If you ruled the world for one day, what would you advocate or have everyone do?
“That’s a challenge to answer.”
First of all, Sutanto would not force anybody do things that they did not want to do. He respects free agency in choice and personal responsibility, but yet he thinks it’s so important to impose a self-control, because greed is the cause of a lot of pain and suffering. Also being ignored is education – ignorance is also the main cause of the pain and suffering – so education is the key to good. People get better lives when being informed.

I think Sutanto would also be open to talk with anyone who could show him how he could learn new things… like make more money without devoting a lot of extra time to the business. There’s always excitement about ‘living the dream’ that could come to anyone … just by turning spending into earning.