Rich Allshouse and Bernie Bass may look like they’re related, but don’t let that fool you.
“We are actually known as ‘the twins,’” laughs Rich. “He gets called ‘Rich’ and I get called ‘Bernie,’ and it just bothers the heck out of both of us.”
Volunteers with Buzzard Brothers BBQ, Rich and Bernie have been best friends since they met in the late ‘70s while playing recreational volleyball at a church function. When Bernie left for college and the Marine Corps and Rich stayed in Paducah working at what is now Honeywell, they never lost touch.
Theirs is a friendship of reciprocity: they look out for each other. When a job opened at his work, Rich introduced Bernie to the company. Bernie would later return the favor, introducing Rich to Buzzard Bros, an all-volunteer organization that cranks out barbecue at such notable events as Barbecue on the River and the Lowertown Arts Festival. And when it comes time for the Lone Oak Ball Park to host the regional Special Olympics softball tournament, you bet you’ll see Rich and Bernie volunteering their time.
When they’re not cooking up over 2,000 pounds of barbecue, working at the ball park, or catching hundreds of crappie on their annual fishing trip to Lake Okeechobee, Rich and Bernie continue to do work for Honeywell. Though Rich retired in 2008, he continues to work with the company as a consultant, and at 64, Bernie is ready for retirement from his job there as an electrical engineer.
“I see Rich and he’s enjoying himself. But I know our wives have lists and lists and lists of stuff for us to do that may be more demanding than any other boss,” he laughs.
Without skipping a beat, Rich chimes in “They don’t pay as well!”
Their shared humor and near ability to finish each others’ thoughts makes it no surprise that Rich and Bernie are mistaken for brothers.
“Our kids were friends, our wives are best friends; we’re not friends, we’re family.”
Rich Allshouse and Bernie Bass are not affiliated with LPL Financial or Jennings & Associates Financial Advisors.
When Randle Petway introduced me to his soon-to-be wife, Shirley, a few years ago – I knew, as they did, that a match was made! They shared a love for the outdoors, animals, and work. It’s so rare to find people like Randle and Shirley that just love helping people and improving things like they do. It’s been so inspiring to watch these two make service their goal in retirement. In the years I’ve known Randle, he’s had profound losses in his life with the passing of his first wife, and a daughter that became ill and has required long-term, ongoing care. Never once has either voiced a complaint, but instead they share their unending blessings.
So, when Shirley shared with me that she had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, I was certain it would slow them down. I was so very wrong. Shirley has served as a longtime volunteer for Lourdes Hospice and as a volunteer for West KY Emergency Vet Clinic. Recently when my dog was bitten by a poisonous snake we rushed him to the vet and none other than Shirley was there caring for pets and people (distressed over their pets). As she visited with us, I watched her care for other patrons and I suspect that not one recognized what she was dealing with…. Shirley, instead, focused on helping them.
Shirley now uses the very services that she has volunteered for over the years at Lourdes Hospice. It never crossed my mind that she’d continue to volunteer while being on hospice herself. But knowing Shirley, it never crossed her mind that she’d quit giving her time and talents to people in need.
They remind us that even in dark periods, we can still bring light to others.
We will miss Shirley and the drive she had to help people!
Nights. Weekends. Working two jobs. 18 hours days.
You name the conditions and Keith Warner probably did it starting out at his father's radiator shop in 1969.
For six years Warner worked the graveyard shift on the railroad as a yard man and would put a full day in at at the radiator shop. Back when it was just he and his dad, Red Warner./p>
"You could always expect about three o'clock on Friday afternoon to get a call to work all weekend," he said. "But that's how we built our reputation: service. We never did advertise."
Warner's brother, Jimmy, joined the crew in '76 and the brothers eventually bought into the company.
Warner remembers the day when his dad retired.
"Friday was his last day of work. Well we were open Saturday, and he was there Saturday. And then on Monday," he said. "Dad was just that type of guy."
"I don't know what kind of relationship you have with your dad," he said. "But mine was my hero."
So you can imagine it wasn't an easy decision to sell the business.
"I wasn't ready to quit. I was 56 years old. Hell, everybody I know works," he said.
But Warner would eventually use that time to take care of his wife, Linda, who is a cancer survivor, and who he met on the dance floor. A skill his his hero and father instilled in him.
"Dad's hands were black as coal. That stuff was ingrained," he said. "But whenever they got a chance they would dance. I guess it's in my blood."
Saving was also in the man's blood, who said he took out his first life insurance policy at 16-years-old and said if he made $50, he'd try to save $20.
Now, with his family business passed on to a new leadership and staff, Warner still pops in from time to time to chat. And, he's starting to embrace his independence, especially when he can play those top tier golf courses in Florida while it's snowing back in Kentucky.
When asked what's he's done in his professional career, with a laugh Dale Story responds, "Not a lot. I've just worked a lot of years and did without pretty often."
"When I first started I needed $14 to be broke," Dale remembers. "I had a $64 car payment and $50 in my pocket."
Underplaying his own accomplishments while putting you at ease with a laugh, such is the charm of the sixty-four-year-old Massac County man, who learned from the best sales associates at Sears back when it was located in downtown Paducah. "And they gave me training, back when they were the largest retailer in the world," he said. "You're not selling a product. This thing that you're selling, you're selling the benefit of it to the customer."
After more than a decade at Sears, he moved to the company that is now Honeywell, eventually working in training.
He also owned an auction company for a few years. "I can't believe they actually pay me to have this much fun," Dale said to his wife, Becky, after they held their first auction. Those few years instilled a love for antiques in Dale, a love that, since retiring in 2009 he's been able to pursue with Becky.
Some might argue Dale is busier than ever, having worked as a consultant, antiquing, and spending whatever other moments he has with his two rescue pups, Dolly and Deacon.
"Retirement doesn't mean quit - it just means leave your occupation and do something you enjoy," he said. For a man that's worked every day in some way for the last 40 years, there is no stopping.
So after a day of bustling and cracking jokes, Dale knows his two furry best friends will be waiting to curl up with him on his recliner in the den, so they can all nod off to whatever movie is on AMC.
"It's a peaceful time that seems like the world's in order," he said. "They usually go to sleep watching a movie and I do too. It's a peaceful time."
It was the love of water that brought Mark and Jan together some 48 years ago, splashing it out as little kids on the community swim team.
And it's the love of water again that draws these newly-retired love birds down the Tennessee, out into the Gulf, past Florida, and onto a new adventure. "We started out on the water together," Mark said, snuggled up to his wife of 37 years in their new "home," the neatly organized interior of their sail boat.
That's right. They moved into their sail boat.
Starting in September of 2014, these two packed up their belongings and made real the life-long dream of navigating the Bahamas, and maybe beyond, with their own two hands.
But Mark and Jan have earned their stint in the sun. Along the way Mark has: Worn head lamps and rode elevators into the earth as a coal miner, picked up night classes for a decade. Became an engineer and worked at the power plant in Joppa. While Mark went down into the coal mines, Jan finished her degree in accounting and put it to use in the medical, banking and retail fields.
"We have always planned for retirement," Mark said. "But never doing the math and seeing where we stood."
"What we found out was that organizing it was a mess," he continued. "Because we had all these little pieces of accounts. It turned out that we had a nice little nest egg, but it was really hard to keep track of."
Jan said that if they hadn't planned as well, they wouldn't have been ready to make the trip in quite the same fashion.
Oh, they were going to make the trip! Even if they had to come back to work afterwards.
"If we had gone thinking that's what was going to happen," Mark said, "it would have been a different kind of trip."
Now they can relax, enjoy the wind, the silence, and the process of navigating the waters ahead.
Dr. Ryan Frazine is no stranger to success.
Only a few years out of his residency, Ryan was asked by now Baptist Health Paducah to start and lead the town's first hospitalist program, which is comprised of physicians specializing in in-hospital patient care.
But after awhile he noticed something was missing.
"You would see a patient for a few days then they would be gone and you would never see them again," he said. "While it was an easier job, easier hours, easier money… it wasn't as fulfilling."
Ryan was missing the connection with his patients.
He wanted to build relationships.
So he and his wife, Carla, started planning for a change.
"I knew this would be more time consuming and potentially stressful, and harder to make money, but it would be more fulfilling work," he said. "The idea of building something, to build a practice but also to build a business that would turn into something."
In July of 2014 he opened his own practice in Building 3 of Baptist Health Paducah.
But making the switch from his job at the hospital to starting his own practice wasn't a simple move. After all, he'd be starting with zero income.
Ryan wondered how he would be able to pay for his house, student loans and provide for his family with his income dropping to relatively nil.
Ryan has come to realize those things are important, but there are other important questions to answer as well. "It's about what you want to do," he said. "What would your ideal day be like? What would your job be like? What do you want your life to look like?"
He and Carla said one of their biggest passions is traveling and being able to have their three little girls travel as well.
Ryan says he's not so worried about saving every penny until he's 80-years-old. Now when planning for their future, Ryan said they think of how they want their life to look like now, in addition to saving for retirement.
And it's those positive experiences he now strives to share with his patients in his own practice.
"Here I honestly feel like there's somebody, everyday, we do something for that I think we've done something to make their life better," Ryan said. "And we get to see those people come back and feel better."
Taking risks can be scary, but Paul makes it look easy.
When presented with the opportunity to pursue art professionally, he took a leap of faith and quit his full-time job as an architect.
“I said to myself, ‘Okay, this is it. I’m going to take this seriously and devote all my time to painting.” And that’s kind of what I did, and it’s been an adventure ever since.”
As an architect/painter/composer, his path through life has been anything but straightforward. When choosing a degree program for college, he had trouble deciding between furthering his study of art or music. His parents, however, like many parents of artistic children, were none too pleased with his choices.
“Basically, they set the ultimatum: No, you’re not studying art,” laughed Lorenz. “If you want to study architecture, we can get behind that.”
Abiding by his parents’ request that he study a more conventional topic (and stay in-state), Lorenz completed his degree in the rigorous, bauhaus-based architecture program at the Illinois Institute of Technology. His desire to paint, however, never left him.
For the sake of adventure, the chance to live somewhere else, to get away from brutal Chicago winters and pursue his art, Paul moved to California. While taking a painting class at UC Berkeley, he was discovered by a gallery that wanted to represent him; it was then that he decided to quit his job to pursue what he loved.
The adventure was far from over. Attending a life-changing concert in 2009, Paul had his next epiphany for artistic pursuit: composing music based on transcriptions of line drawings. Another gamble in a series of risks, it paid off; his composition was performed recently by a string octet at the Florence Biennale, a major global exhibition in Italy featuring hundreds of artists.
Life is a lot like working with different mediums. Like water-based paints, waiting for a touch of water before something can happen, some of us wait to react to outside forces. Paul lives his life much like how he describes working with oil paint: You have to make everything happen. Nothing happens by itself.
“I start everything the same way. I have kind of an idea in my head and I start. I don’t know where it’s going to end, but I get started.”
We’re excited to see where life takes Paul next. One thing is for certain: it will be anything but ordinary.
“Given the option to do something tried and true and safe, or take the adventure? I take the adventure.”
Paul Lorenz is not affiliated with LPL Financial.