I opened an antique mall in an 1,800 sq. ft. storefront using most of my savings, (which honestly amounted to only about $12,000 at the time), successfully made it through the first year (a rarity for new businesses) while five competing businesses opened in the same year and all of those failed within two years. After two years, I expanded into the newly available store front of the same size on one side of my mall, then the 5,400 sq. ft. space on the opposite side that became available, and finally added one more 1,800 sq. ft. space. As I expanded, the landlord paid to have the new spaces connected into a single, large store space. At that point, my business was the largest by sq. ft. in the shopping center- and paid the most rent, as well. I always paid my employees significantly more than minimum wage and what other retailers paid because I truly believed that everyone deserves more than minimum wage, a policy that other business owners criticized me for doing, but I wouldn't have been successful without the people who worked for me. And, those competing businesses that didn't pay their employees as well as I paid mine all went out of business, which, I believe, vindicated my attitude towards running a business. After a serious health issue in May, 2006,, I sold the business the following month. I miss meeting all the great people, but I don't miss the stress at all.
This book has been described as a cross between Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye” and Ray Bradbury’s classic “Dandelion Wine”! These ten stories follow the life of a boy named Roland McCray growing up during the massive social changes of the 1960’s in a southern town that’s immersed in Civil War history. Roland learns that people aren’t always honest and that prejudice between races and religion... read more
These stories follow Roland McCray into those angst-ridden teen years. Roland, no longer a child but not yet an adult, learns the pain of loss and the indescribable joy of first love. He begins to understand the need of forgiveness and acceptance in the face of an often confusing world. Enticed by more temptations than ever, Roland still seeks that quiet morality of his grandfather, that faith... read more
A Young Man, Strong And Confident In His Beliefs And Not Afraid To Face Life’s HurdlesThis book takes a slice-of-life look at Roland McCray from ages eight to eighteen. A child during the turbulent 1960’s, Roland comes of age in the 1970’s in a town immersed in Civil War history. His family attends a small, local church and the pressure to conform to tradition and religious practices is intens... read more
“Falling Water: Stories & Poetry” takes a incisive, penetrating look at life! This collection offers an insightful look at the realities we all face- the highs and the lows, hope, happiness, joy and the inevitable grief and suffering that must accompany the good. Most of the stories and poems in this were compiled from handwritten notes in journals I've been keeping for several years. These ar... read more