It was called Barkley & Evergreen back then. Today, it is simply Barkley and it has become even more awesome. It is the largest employee-owned advertising agency in the U.S. and it is the best place I ever worked.
I miss Barkley and I miss Kansas City.
We lived in the suburbs, in a small town called Olathe in Johnson County, Kansas. Today, Olathe has grown quite a bit.
When you move to a new locale, you pretty much have to start over on everything from which mechanics to use and trust to finding new doctors and accountants to which restaurants to eat at and which grocery stores to shop at.
Among those things, I was looking for a place to cut my hair.
I found a little shop around the corner from our house one lazy fall afternoon not long after all the moving boxes had been unpacked. I drove over, put my name on the list and waited for my barber. When I saw her, I almost audibly gasped.
She was beautiful. I mean, stunning as in gorgeous as in jaw-dropping pretty. She was also an artist with hair--men's hair or women's hair. She did a superb job on my ugly head of locks--so much so that my wife made an appointment with her for the upcoming Saturday. My wife and her hit it off immediately.
Her name was Bella, she had just turned twenty years of age and she had an accent that would make a stone statue come to life. She and her husband and their new baby had just come over from Ukraine six months earlier. My wife is second-generation American with most of her heritage coming from Poland and Russia on her daddy's side. Bella and my wife bonded immediately.
We found out a few months later that the U.S. made things easy for illegal immigrants and difficult for legal immigrants. Bella and her husband were having some difficulties that if not resolved, would lead to them being deported. Long story short, I called in some favors I had earned with two U.S. Senators from back in my DOJ days and my wife worked her rolodex from her days as a television reporter with CBS.
Bella and her husband and their baby had become like younger siblings to my wife and I. We helped them with their path to citizenship and they helped us see what was going on in the former Soviet Union. It wasn't pretty.
It's still not.
One little two-minute video isn't going to explain it all. But what I hope it will do is at least move people to perhaps spend two more minutes sending an e-mail to their elected officials or a phone call to them and demanding that we start paying more attention to the former East Bloc nations and territories who want FREEDOM.
Many of you who read my blog and who have read my novel are veterans. You fought for and defended freedom. You know the sweet taste of liberty and freedom because you put your butt on the line for it.
These people in Ukraine are fighting--and dying--for their quest for freedom and liberty. The least we can do is pick up the phone and let our Congressmen and Senators know that we damn well support these folks who are brave enough to stand up to the corruption and tyranny that is left over from the Soviet Union.
Just share the video. And ask someone to take two minutes to make a call or send an e-mail.
It's about Freedom. Isn't that worth a few minutes of your time?