Wow! Today, it feels like “I am proud to be an American” is an experience of the past. The question is, why? For some reason the energy winds are escaping the pride sails. Daily, growing, evolving, exploding, and competing media remind of polarized political hate fests and circuses, government non-action, corruption, pay-offs, conspiracy, gun violence, killings, rage, boarder activity, foreign balloon sightings, home-grown terrorism, wars in Ukraine and Israel, unnatural deaths, drums of competing political candidates and parties, et al. Perhaps this is nothing more than being witness to eight decades of change and the associated transition from endings of positive memories and mind chatter ramblings about disappointing new beginnings. Maybe this is just awareness of the perceived negative captured by the media and not witness to the good in the world. The ticket to the daily media circus can get tiresome!! As a relative newcomer-eight years-to the political arena it has become a shock to the system that is depressing and the result has been declining pride in the America that formerly held beacons of hope, quality, common good, authenticity, and virtue. Where are the virtues? Where are the values? Where are guiding principles? Where is the leadership!

As far as family history has been traced the Devores were French Huguenots who left Alsace Lorraine, traveled to England, became indentured servants, sailed to Nova Scotia and eventually America. The journey in America records through Cumberland Gap, initially settling in Southeastern Ohio, and finally, Defiance County, in Northwestern Ohio.

Was born in Defiance, Ohio and was raised in the small town, farm community of Sherwood-500 folks, 13 miles West of Defiance. A wonderful life was to unfold. Some highlights are as follows:

  • Went from the birth hospital to the home Dad built in Sherwood.
  • Dad owned and operated a hardware store. Started working in the store when 10 years old: pushing a broom, waiting on customers, cleaning weapons, taking inventory, burning trash, selling paint, rope, and Christmas trees, unpacking merchandise, cutting window glass, cutting pipe threads, setting up electric trains in the front window during the Holiday Season, etc.
  • Grew up in the Catholic Church, altar boy starting at five, and continuing through college at West Point. An early trauma for Dad, brother Dan, and I was the death of Mom: Dan was 10 and I was 15.
  • Grandma and Grandpa lived on a 180-acre farm and raised corn, wheat, and soybeans. Spent many days on the farm with its sulfur water, cistern water in the kitchen sink, outdoor toilet, two barns, a silo, chicken coop, corn crib, manure pile, and horse slaughter shed.
  • Lifetime student, 27 years of American academia: Sherwood-Delaware through eighth grade, Defiance High School, United States Military Academy, University of Denver (MBA and Doctor of Philosophy, Human Communications), Naropa University (MA Religious Studies and Study Abroad), and with son, Doug, Golf Academy of America (Associate of Business, Golf Management and Teaching).
  • Military service: infantry officer, airborne school, ranger school, decorated, Fort Benning, Fort Carson, Fort Lewis, Fort Bragg, and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. Eight years of service included two years of combat during the Vietnam War.
  • Fantastic family then and now: lots of nurturing, high regard, fondness, and admiration…parents, grandparents, cousins, spouse, kids, grandkids, and great grandkids.
  • Civilian career as executive with Adolph Coors Company, Coors Container Company, Coors Brewing Company, American Business Advisors, and Telluride Ski and Golf Company.

It feels like the most significant change during the decades has been access to information and the type of information received, then as a small-town kid versus now as a retiree. In 1949 our family owned the first television in Sherwood-lots of test patterns, fine tuning of the set, loved Hopalong Cassidy, and I have vivid memories of helping Dad put a television antennae on the roof of the house. There was the Sherwood-Chronicle, the Defiance-Cresent News, the Toledo Blade, books, Life Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, schoolteachers, the priest, nuns, family, farm and town folks, and great neighbors.


Simply, the deterioration of pride in the world seems to be directly tied to today’s plethora of media information and the type of information that is available. There is so much information that it can be distracting and anxiety generating searching for what fits in one’s world at a particular moment in time. It feels like life is just more complicated today than it was when I was growing up, learning, reflecting, and evolving awareness of similarities and differences in a complex world. Gratefulness is at the top of the virtues list.


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