Archive for the ‘Storytelling’ Category

I wrote the following paper in 1969 for a college English course.

Hope you enjoy the story.

Counsel for the Defense

It wasn’t a unique gathering.  From all outward appearances it was only a friendly gathering of three members of each of two families for an evening of conversation.  It was more, though.

Mrs. Martin, a rather outspoken woman was expounding on the historical events that had come to pass in our small town during the week.  Mr. Martin sat quietly pulling easily on his pipe.  He seemed to be off by himself even though he sat between Mrs. Martin and my mother. The smile my mother had painted on as the Martins drove up the drive was holding up well.

Ordinarily Mom would not sit and listen to gossip, but she had other things on her mind and was waiting for us to discuss the real issue. My father sat calmly sipping scotch and water breaking his own silence occasionally to toss in a quip that would silence Mrs. Martin for a second — but only a second, mind you. Ross Martin, a long-time friend, and I carried on a light conversation of our own.

Both of us were anxious.  If this did not work, we would both be condemned to institutionalized living.  Ross’s arguments had been in vain.  He now hoped that I could convince my parents and in turn have my parents convert his.  I was invoking all the gods I had ever read about to intervene in our favor. This confrontation was long in coming.

Tempers had flared several times during the past year, but an actual discussion of the problem was always put off until the proper time.  The proper time was about to arrive. Should Ross and I be allowed to live off-campus at school was the question at hand.  The alternatives we had been offered were dormitories or a fraternity.  A rather simple issue except that Ross and I have had a series of interesting experiences.

By the end of our first year at college we had pledged a fraternity and before the end of the quarter subsequently de-pledged.  We moved into a house with three other students and had a series of problems involving bills, studies, parties, and dogs.  The other three fellows wanted to party, eat well, and raise dogs, but forego paying their share of the expenses or clean up after the dog.  That was all topped off by the landlord who decided to keep our deposits when we moved out of the house.  We were physically and legally unable to retrieve our money and that was a very tender spot for all of us.

Spring quarter we moved into a small trailer, which worked out fine for about two weeks and then Ross was involved in an accident which kept him out of school for the remainder of the quarter.  This left me with a large share of the burden of the expenses as well as having to learn to cope with the deafening affects of silence. All this left our parents with a great deal of ammunition.  One battle had already been lost.  Mrs. Martin had already decided against us, but they wanted to make sure Ross would be happy.  They had two daughters, but Ross was their only son.

Dad and I had already discussed the issue several times — all fruitless.  In fact a couple times he had given me a definite “No!”  But my seven brothers and sisters and I have a little understanding about our father.  The first time he says “no”, he probably didn’t understand the situation.  The second time he says “no” you probably didn’t present your case properly.  The third time – forget it – he meant it the first time.  This would be the third try.  I had to do it right.  We couldn’t have it put off again.  Class would start in three weeks and we had to give the landlord a definite answer by the end of the week. I was ready.  I had been preparing for this final showdown for several days.

Mr. Martin and my father are both successful businessmen.  For them financial figures talk.  With this in mind, my main appeal had to be to the pocket.  Our housing expenses off-campus would be comparable to if not lower than if we were to live in a dormitory or a fraternity.  Also, in a residence meal expense is set so if you miss a meal, you are out of luck.  By buying and preparing our own meals, we would pay only for what we ate.  And by not being required to participate in residence functions I would be left with more time to devote to my job.  This would give me more money to use to cover my expenses.  I had even resorted to using statistics, comparing the different costs for the different residences against living off-campus.

After exhausting the discussion of factual material I planned to move to an appeal to the independent spirits of my parents.  Over the years I had picked up several examples of the independent nature showing in them when they were young and I planned to play them to the hilt.  Also, I could give them many examples of the disadvantages of living in dormitories or fraternities.  Most of which they had heard me tell before, but it would be more effective used all at once.

Dad rose from his chair and went into the kitchen.  He returned in a few minutes with fresh drinks for himself and Mr. Martin.  He sat down and I almost breathed a sigh of relief when he said, “Well, boys, I think it’s about time we got down to the matter at hand …”

K. Brian Jacobson
English 205
December 19, 1969


Editor’s Note

— The author received an “A” for the story.

— He and his friend moved to off-campus housing.


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RUMOR: The Great Illinois Stone Endorses Village Development

Numerous unsubstantiated rumors support claims that The Great Illinois Stone has endorsed the Community Development efforts of Village Trustees.

Conscientious Citizens report seeing The Great Illinois Stone in the street near the house that was destroyed.

River drive will never be the same.  We hope.

Empty, dead, and deteriorating it was time for that hazard to go.

A group claiming to represent The Great Illinois Stone says The Stone … also known as TGIS … considers The Stone’s work a public service.

The Great Illinois Stone Endorses Village Revitalization

Please contact us if you can provide insights regarding this incident.

We would also like to know of other sightings and interactions that involve The Great Illinois Stone.

Tell us if you see something that should get The Stone.

Right or Wrong … Good or Bad … What situation deserves The Stone?

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Thought Patterns 2011 Blog Topic Summary

If you could read minds, success in communicating your ideas and plans effectively … to friends, family, customers, business associates, and employees … would be much easier to attain.

Think about it.

If you know how other people think,

you can be

(a) very well-informed

(b) very influential

or (c) both.

Share Your Thoughts

Since this is intended to be a forum for the exchange and exploration of ideas, your feedback is encouraged.  Comments on content, topic suggestions, and contributions of your ideas are invited.

Blog Structure

  • HomeA Great Place to Start
  • AboutExploring How People Think & How Ideas Take Hold
  • PhotographyA Great Way to Convey Thoughts
  • Somebody SaidSome Things are Worth Repeating
  • LinksGood Ideas & Resources to Share

INTRODUCTIONCustomer Feedback

  • Hello world!  … Looking Forward to Sharing Ideas With You


CREATIVE PEOPLEPainting of Robots by Cesare Tanassi


PHOTOGRAPHYSanta on Miami's North Beach





URBAN LEGENDThe Great Illinois Stone

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A very special stone has been seen around the state of Illinois.

The Great Illinois Stone

The Great Illinois Stone

Please help us learn more about this mysterious artifact.

We are trying to determine it’s

  • Nature
  • Purpose
  • Potential
  • Power
  • Specialities
  • Influences
  • … and more

Great Illinois Stone with State Map

We are not sure what it is.  It could be many things.

It may have its roots in a time before this part of the country was settled. It could be connect to the spirits of the land and the people that settled here long before the Vikings or Columbus.

We just don’t know.

Possibly, it is:

  • Myth
  • Urban Legend
  • A Key to other Mysteries
  • A Sign of Things to Come … Good or Bad

The Great Illinois Stone has been reported to appear when something unexpected is going to happen.

We hear it has a special connection to politics. We are just not sure what the connection means.

Maybe it is connected to the forces that have helped put so many of our political leaders in prison.

Some have said it could:

  • Indicate where to find someone of special interest … Good or Bad
  • Fall on shady candidates
  • Cause someone to slip and fall
  • Serve as Seal of Approval
  • Warn people of danger

We have heard that it might have come from the Castle Rock area.

Some say it was first found at the site of the “Murder Castle” hotel at Sixty-Third and Wallace in the Englewood section of Chicago. This “hotel” was designed and built by Dr. H.H. Holmes (born Herman Webster Mudgett), written about by Erik Larson in the book Devil in the White City. Holmes is often referred to as America’s first serial killer. In the end, he admitted to 27 murders, but estimates range as high as 250 victims.

For more information about this amazing time in Chicago’s history visit:

Some say The Great Illinois Stone was unearthed at Chicago’s Graceland Cemetery, possible from the shore of the pond near Daniel Burnham’s burial site.

There is even a rumor that The Great Illinois Stone was sent here from another state to disrupt and disturb the tranquility of this part of the Heartland, cause the Chicago Machine to falter, Cook County government to crumble, or the Illinois State Legislature to be gridlocked on issues important to the citizens of this state. Boy, if that’s the case … it seems to be working.

If I was Rob Blagojevich, I would be concerned.

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Thought Patterns likes to showcase people and their ideas.  Maybe a cool idea … a great product … or we simply like the way they think.



We share with you their Thought Patterns.

Here are my thoughts …

Every business owner; every salesperson; every customer service rep; every … well … Everyone should watch the following video.

In recent weeks I have been in several sales situations that would be appropriate additions to the Vendor Client Relationship video featured below.

Clients demanding the sun, moon, and stars … at a bargain price.

Then, of course, there are customers that want to renegotiate the terms and price after you have delivered on your part of the bargain.

… And they fully expect you to be thrilled they will continue to do business with you.

 From where does such thinking come?  TV? Politics? Internet? Greed?

Yes.  All of that and more.

We could spend a lot of time reviewing those issues.  And, maybe I will … later.

Watch the video.

Listen to the words.


Do these scenes about working with clients and serving customers resonate with you?  Been there yourself?

How can you use these Thought Patterns to improve your sales and business development approaches?

Take a look at other videos by zeorge497 on YouTube.  Cool stuff.  Good for Killing Time.  Yeah, Killing Time.  Watch it, too.

The people behind this video are great at telling a story.

Now …

Tell us what you think.

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