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Monday, August 11, 2008

Returning home

In time away -- four nights and five days -- you couldn't call our visit to Colorado a long trip. But we agreed on returning home late last night that, indeed, our time away seemed greater than the actual numbers of hours in the journey. This, to me, means the experiences, variety and learning we accomplished went beyond a typical vacation.

Maybe this is because I've never really combined an intensive business visit with a family break like this. The stars aligned, both in scheduling and spontaneity.

At the SMPS conference, I learned the scale, sophistication, and challenges of the community connected with this blog and appreciated the contributions of SMPS pioneers who, just 35 years ago, realized that an association dedicated to the interests of AEC-community marketing issues could help address the needs and concerns of the industry. Now, SMPS has approximately 7,000 members and a national conference that can attract 1,000.

I began to appreciate more clearly the challenges and opportunities of leadership; and perhaps the biggest problem those of us working in this space need to overcome -- inconsistency meeting ossification. (The latter is a rather big word; I hope I'm using it correctly; I'm suggesting that sometimes we are so trapped into our habits and sameness that we fail to see the world evolving around us.)

Today, after an early breakfast, I'm heading to the gym for some much needed exercise; then to catch up on business and review and implement the projects under way.

Maybe, I found something as well by touching the Lucky Bucket at the Phoenix Mine.

Hi Mark,

Very well written :0) Though their are some of us that aren't "motley."

I met Al about seven years ago. I am an author and photographer and I do the web site simply because I love that Al teaches a little of yesterday the actual way it was yesterday. When I first met him and after spending three weeks with him all day ever day working on an article, I told my daughter this man is either the best liar in the world or has lived an amazing life. Over the last seven years I have given tours, ran the counter, went to the Mining Association meetings, commissioners meetings and many many other duties, I would do anything Al needed me to do. I can verify for you (whether the prize winner was real - yes) and for me, that every thing Al has ever told me was true. Because research is my game and every thing I ever checked on him was proved true. I have been typing the lucky bucket stories and would like to include yours in our book and the typed version for the web site with your permission.

Just an FYI, I checked the official web site for the Phoenix Mars mission, it does not state this fact, but what I can tell you is, Anne Palen who is a business partner and friend of Al's and a lead scientist/engineer that worked on the Phoenix came up with the name the Phoenix, because the project like how Al saw the Phoenix Gold Mine was resurrected from death. Anne did name the Phoenix Mars in honor of Al. Al is also honorary "grandpa" to Anne's adopted children. So knowing these facts it is not so far fetched to believe it was named after the Phoenix.

I personally think the magic of the Phoenix and it's luck as well as lessons lie in it's owner, Alvin Mosch. He is a brilliant but humble man. But I believe you probably saw Al's magic or you wouldn't have written the blog. He does help make it a little easier to believe all our dreams can come true. And one final note, all of Al's "crew" are volunteers and are not paid except any tips they receive, so there are a lot of us that make the Phoenix run, though profit on the tours barely covers it expenses in insurance alone.

I will make sure Al see this, thank you for the very flattering and well written blog.

Jo A. Petit, Phoenix Volunteer

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