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Haggis for Breakfast

Haggis for Breakfast's Journal
Haggis for Breakfast's Journal
November 12, 2019

Just wanted to remind everyone . . .

Malcolm Nance's new book, "The Plot to Destroy America: How Team Trump Embraced Our Enemies, Compromised Our Security, and How We Can Fix It" is out TODAY.

November 9, 2019

One Tough Mother: Gert Boyle 1924-2019

Gert Boyle, who was thrust into managing her family's struggling outerwear business and helped build it into a multibillion-dollar juggernaut, Columbia Sportswear, while staring in humorous advertisements as "One Tough Mother," has died November 3 in Portland, Oregon at the age of 95.

Her son, Timothy Boyle, the company's president and chief executive, confirmed her death. He was named acting chairman on Monday, succeeding his mother, who had previously served as president. Well into the last three months, he said, "She signed all the company checks."

Mrs. Boyle was 46, a stay-at-home mother of three, when her husband, Neal, died after a heart attack in 1970. He left her with a debt-laden company that she had scarcely been involved with, aside from designing a fishing vest for her husband that became one of Columbia Sportswear's top selling items.

Selling the business was out of the question; three months earlier, Neal had used their house to take out a large loan. And selling would have been out of character for Mrs. Boyle, a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany who arrived in the US at 13, speaking not a word of English.

Settling in Portland, where her father bought a hat company that grew into Columbia Sportswear.


Hilarious advertisements created by Borders Perrin Norrander presented 5-foot-3-inch "Ma Boyle" as a gruff, no-nonsense figure with a "Born to Nag" tattoo on her biceps, she was shown pushing her son Tim to hang off a cliff or stand in an automatic car wash to prove Columbia Sportswear goods to be durable and rugged. In one spot, she used a dart-gun to sedate Tim then left him alone an a snowy mountain top; in another, she strapped him to the roof of a car and drove through a rain storm. In still another, she was shown driving a Zamboni over a frozen Tim, breathing through a straw under the ice.

The ad campaign launched in 1984 saw sales grow from $13 million to $260 million in 1994.

Interviewed by "Fortune" in 2003, she said of herself, "I don't really think of myself as that nasty woman in the ads. I'm so much nicer, taller, blonder and thinner," laughing. She said, "But I am a different person here at the office than I am at home. Because if you let somebody leave tire tracks on your back, you're never going to make it. You have to speak up and say, "This is what I am about."

Well into her 90s, she remained active in business and philanthropy, donating $100 million to Knight Cancer Institute, part of Oregon Health and Science University (Portland, OR). She was often seen in her office, issuing "Gertisms," mantras such as "Early to bed, early to rise, work like Hell and advertise."

"I get up in the morning and go to water aerobics, then I come into the office, then go around and verbally abuse as many people as I can. They asked my son, what are you going to do when your mother dies ? He said, we'll have her stuffed. In Columbia Sportswear."

[More at NYT on Gert Boyle.]

She WAS that "Tough Mother," and all that knew her will never be able to forget her. Her spirit, moxie and drive will live on forever. Here's to you Ma Boyle.

Funeral plans are pending.

February 13, 2019

Parkland, Florida, February 14, 2018

Alyssa Alhadeff, 14

Scott Beigel, 35

Martin Anguiano, 14

Nickolas Dworet, 17

Aaron Feis, 37

Jamie Guttenberg, 14

Chris Hixon, 49

Luke Hoyer, 15

Cara Loughran, 14

Gina Montalto, 14

Joaquin Oliver, 14

Alaina Petty, 14

Meadow Pollack, 18

Helena Ramsey, 17

Alex Schachter, 14

Carmen Schentrup, 16

Peter Wang, 15

The students and teachers who lost their lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland Florida on February 14, 2018.

February 11, 2019

Valentines for ME ????

I'm humbled. Stunned into silence - and you can ask everyone who knows me - that doesn't often happen.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank the secret gifters out there in DU Land.

I've been dealing with power-outages left and right (and a fireplace that refuses to cooperate), frozen pipes, including the drain in the bath tub and all manner of annoyances for the last 8-10 days. Up here in the North West of Washington State, the weather has been on a terror. So, these little valentines have put a smile on my face and the song back in my soul.

I thank you.

July 26, 2018

A Trailblazer to the End: Rear Admiral, Alene B. Duerk

Admiral Alene B. Duerk, first female admiral, passes away at the age of 98.

It took 197 years, but an innovative and forward-thinking CNO, Elmo Zumwalt, broke tradition by elevating her name to selection in 1972, making her the first woman (flag rank) to ascend to Admiral. President Nixon agreed and approved.

In 1941, Alene Duerk joined the U. S. Naval Reserve as an Ensign after graduating from the Toledo Hospital School of Nursing. She completed tours at Naval Hospital Portsmouth (where she earned sailor of the year honors), Naval Hospital Bethesda and at sea aboard the USS Benevolence. During her tour in 1945, Duerk provided aid to wounded personnel returning from fighting the Japanese in WWII.

Duerk was released from active dury in 1946, however, she returned in 1951 as a nursing instructor at the Naval Hospital School in Portsmouth. She would spent the next 20 years assigned to hospitals in San Diego and Yokosuka (Japan), before joining recruiting efforts in Chicago and Washington.

In 1970, she was appointed Director of the Navy Nurse Corps, where she expanded Navy medical capabilities in anesthesia, pediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology and ambulatory care.

In 1975, Rear Admiral Duerk retired but remained involved in Navy Medicine foe the rest of her life.

For more on this amazing woman: (https://www.history.navy.mil/browse-by-topic/diversity/women-in-the-navy/first-female-flag-officer.html).

Admiral Alene Duerk blazed a trail of stellar performance in tough jobs, serving as an inspiration for an ever-increasing number of women officers who have followed in her steps.

Semper Fortis, Admiral Duerk. Fair winds and a followin' seas . . .

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