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Newsletter ~ November 2020

          The theme for me this month is aging gracefully..  

It has been generally acknowledged that many things get better with, cheese and old leather briefcases come to mind.  Human beings seem to have mixed reviews on their own aging.  Some embrace the inevitable and some resist at bit.  Let me just say that I  am doing ok with mine and feel grateful for a lot of still working parts and good people in my life.


Note from a Song ...


In 2014, I retired, took my little music pilgrimage to the south and wrote a little tune called Aged to Perfection. It was not completely autobiographical mind you, but I loved that old phrase and felt compelled to write about guitars, friends, cars and good things doing well in the aging process ... 

One of my favourite neighbourhood hangouts soon became my out of home office.  Calgary loves the Blackfoot Diner and i do too.  It's not one of those pretend diners, but a real 1956 diner with the characters to go with it.  The steady and loving hand in the Diner since the beginning was the departed and still missed Edna Taylor.

To my surprise and delight, the staff came out a while back wearing new hot pink T-shirts with the Blackfoot logo and the phrase, since 1956, Aged to Perfection ... I went home and wrote a new verse.

My good musical friends and videographer grandson helped film a physically distanced but loving tribute to aging well in front of the Blackfoot.
Aged to Perfection @ Blackfoot Diner Parking Lot


Notes from a Practice ...

As this brave new world continues to unfold and our workplace, organization and civic cultures continue to evolve, we may do well to explore the leadership and engagement practice side of our thinking and learning.  If you would like to learn more about these practical tools and practices in the book, drop me a line ...

My colleagues at Roy Group are continuing to open up their great work virtually in coaching and conflict resolution ... .At present they are exploring an amazing digital alternative to Zoom...Ask them about Nemo!

As always, find your own leadership practice! and then find your community of practice!

Here is an updated version of a piece I wrote some time ago about elders.  Elders in my opinion should always be one of the most critical pieces in your continuing leadership practice ...

Elders ... an old story for modern times
An old story goes that a young man tentively knocked on the door of the beloved American poet Robert Frost.  The great man invited him in and poured him a cup of tea.  After more formal introductions, Robert Frost asks the young fellow … what do you do young man?”  “Well sir, came the reply, like yourself, I am a poet.”
Read More of this Essay


Notes from a Painting ...

Over the years I have seen many portraits and one theme I love is the aging face.  This painting has spent the last few decades in the home of my brother and sister in law (Ray and Lori Thornbur) in Victoria.  The painter is Patricia Hall of Kamloops.  The face makes me smile every time.


Notes from a Book ...

Like many of you, I have found it a bit of a blessing to have extra time on my well scrubbed hands.  The screens are ok but I have also found a lot of time for my old friends...books.

This book was a treasure.   Witness … lessons from Elie Wiesel’s Classroom by Ariel Burger. The author had the privilege of working with Elie Wiesel (author of the great classic Night) as a teaching assistant and has written with such insight and love about the way Wiesel taught …
Of course, as with all great elders, teachers and mentors, he taught through story … I loved this one.
“Listen to a story:  One day a just man came to the city of Sodom.  He began to preach to its inhabitants, telling them to change their evil ways.  He wanted to save them from destruction, a destruction he knew would come as a result of their sins against one another.  ‘Please, he said, ‘stop your cruelty, stop your inhumanity!  You must be kinder to the stranger, to the children of the stranger!’ He went on like that for many days, but no one listened.  He did not give up.  He continued preaching and protesting for many years.  Finally, a passerby asked him, ‘Rabbi, really, why do you do that?  Don’t you see no one is listening?’ He answered, ‘I know.  No one will listen, but I cannot stop.  You see, at first, I thought I had to preach and protest in order to change them.  But now, although I continue to speak, it is not to change the world.  It is so that they  do not change me.

wisdom ... never grows old.


Duly Noted ...

'Remember to check out ... The amazing Esker Art Gallery in Inglewood has some amazing fall programs ... check the out here ... Fall Exhibitions Brochure 

For you in Calgary, the very successful summer Night Markets in Inglewood will continue indoors in November ...
Inglewood Night Markets take place on Friday November 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th from 3:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Location: SOUTH BANK 880 9 Street SE
Inside the main floor retail bays along 9th Avenue

 Event Format: Similar format to the September markets, but indoors:

Please keep me informed of anything I may have missed ... 
Please note … you have received this newsletter simply because at some point our paths crossed.  It might have been through my engagement practice, my pottery practice, my song writing practice or maybe I just met you on the street in my capacity as the Street Corner Mayor of the Music Mile here in Calgary. 

Please enjoy and give me feedback on how I can do better.  You can email me directly at  If this sort of thing just annoys you, please hit the unsubscribe button!  If you think someone else might enjoy it please pass it along and perhaps consider subscribing yourself.

Please have a safe, home based fall everyone!  Remember our parents and the elders who made the sacrifice for our democracy on November 11.


"Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art."     

Eleanor Roosevelt



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~ Bob Chartier


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