Books for Everyone!

Valentine’s Day 2019

This Is for All the Lonely People

I read recently that the manufacturer of those hideous candy hearts went out of business last year. The Necco brand got sold to another manufacturer through a bankruptcy auction. The Revere plant in Massachusetts has been shut down.

I did not find this news distressing. Sweethearts sure aren’t what they used to be!

An online image search for this little juvenile sugar-bomb revealed to me that the newest messages had included “Text Me”, “Tweet Me”, “Let’s Talk”, and “You Rock”. It’s no wonder the company went out of business! Perhaps “Like Me On FB” had been a heart-option but fear of copyright infringement might have created one too many heart palpitations at Necco.

I’ve gotten used to reading about the kibosh being put on yet another “oldest continuously operating company in America of ______ (fill in the blank).”

This time, it’s candy, and not even good candy. I found Necco wafers and those hard hearts hard to eat. They were nearly unpalatable. I was always more of a chocolate candy-bar consumer during childhood, although I confess to liking my share of Sugar Daddy’s (the Sugar Babies were disgusting). Each Daddy came with a thin slip of cardboard enclosed, detailing animals that I found fascinating. The sugary treat was educational for me!

It must be a unique challenge for “young” people today, navigating in the midst of the debris left by so many “legacy” companies, some of which they’ve never even heard! Even more unsettling are the workers who must pick up their final paychecks at plants and companies whose closure came as a complete shock.

I’ve covered my contempt for the Corporation fairly well in the mid-May 2017 essay, The Corporation is Always Wrong. Whenever the wretched corporation is mentioned, Dear Husband tells me: You must control your temper!”

Decades ago, in Suburbia, I used to take a carton of eggs and throw them against the dog-eared fence.  I’m out of suburbia, but there are times when I confess to wanting to take some eggs, or a pie, to certain Faces in the News.  Tis then that I refuse to waste good protein and good pie on miserable beings.

It is therefore with utter self-control that I now address the disappointment and frustration that I used to feel about capitalist enterprises in this land of opportunity. I believe I’ve adequately worked through my anger management. (I know, that’s what They all say!)

The Venture Capitalist has gotten more than one black eye because of the images of greed-at-any-price and to heck with the worker. I venture to say this reality is half-true. The capitalist must make good on his investment, and employees can be collateral damage. The idea, however, that a company is like a family has always seemed, to me, a bit delusional. Business is business. One too many advertisers conned people into thinking a company could be touchy-feely. That merchandising myth needs to be deep-sixed and replaced with the actuality of reasonable hope.

There are many real reasons for hope in this country where companies and corporations have screwed both employee and customer. Start-ups abound of American industries striving for exceptional quality, superior service and admirable ethics. Red Land Cotton in Alabama is beginning to stock my linen closet with Made-in-The-USA, heirloom-inspired, luxury-quality towels and sheets.

I fall in love with at least one blanket every time that I go online to Faribault Woolen Mills. This company has been operating in Minnesota since 1865; it is the last — the sole survivor — of the great vertical woolen mills in America. Having been to a couple of the now-defunct woolen mills in Fall River, Massachusetts, I can solemnly say that the loss of those businesses is a bigger hit to the heart than the demise of Necco and their hard hearts in Revere, Massachusetts, land of the heartless taxes.

NineLine online offers fantastic American-made merchandise for men, women and the youths of America. Dri-Duck sells at phenomenal prices work-wear that can also be worn for play.  I’ve also scouted out small businesses online that offer high-quality socks and athletic wear.

If you like coffee, real coffee, non-corporate-coffee, coffee that is all-American, and all-coffee, look no further than Black Rifle Coffee Company online. Made by Americans, for Americans who love java, freedom and their country, this company even has a VP in charge of People and Culture!

My Iron Ranger boots from Red Wing Shoes are keepers for a long long time!

The name of the game now for many American companies is either sell-it-fast-to-the-dolts, or sell-it-slow-to-the-smart-folks. It must be a shock for people nearing 30 to find out they’ve been left in the marketing dust because of the latest just-past-adolescence crowd who will buy just about anything to look “in”. Trends, however, eventually go out of style. By definition, all trends come to an end.  No company can stay afloat for long peddling the newest SHINY thing. That business misses the mark and its entire house of cards falls down. And the truly lonely are the unfortunate youngsters who are in the crosshairs of the ubiquitous advertising ploy of Buy-The-Shiny-New-Thing.

The rest of us are the ones who know what we want. We won’t be schnookered by sales pitches. We don’t put up with crap. We don’t watch tv anymore. We don’t go out to restaurants often because eating at home tastes a whole lot better and we don’t run the risk of food poisoning. We do like quality. And we are willing to wait for those quality items to emerge, once again, in America.

We are not lonely, but we do want to be left alone by all of the intrusions into our private lives that constitute modern life. There are millions of us, from age 30 to age 90 and up. And while we do often feel alienated by a lot of what is going on Out There, we also sense there is a marvelous awakening going on in the America we used to know and love. The realignment of realities for Americans is bringing the Brand New Day that the corporations and their cynical advertisers have been hawking for decades in the darkness of their own moral decay.

The Shiny New Thing, is, in reality, quality, tradition, and respect for the revered culture called American. It’s lonely at the top, but America has gotten used to it.

When I first heard the ditty called “Lonely People”, recorded by a British-American rock group, based in London and called (!) America, that song had already passed me by. The tune was long gone from the radio where it had peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. Even then, I was late to the song party! But no matter when you first heard these lyrics, they are timeless and true.

For the sincerely heart-felt songwriters of this song, a husband-and-wife team, Dan and Catherine Peek, teamwork was the meeting of two hearts and two minds. Those lovebirds understood that the lonely, and the un-lonely, among us don’t need those horrid hard candy hearts. Simply, with sweet patience, bear in mind, and in heart, these lyrics by two individuals who had a real peek at love:

This is for all the lonely people

Thinking that life has passed them by

Don’t give up until you drink from the silver cup

And ride that highway in the sky.

This is for all the single people

Thinking that love has left them dry

Don’t give up until you drink from the silver cup

You never know until you try . . .