Sunday, October 21, 2007

he's a good man

On Monday our feed salesman is retiring. Shoot. I liked this guy. He just never got on my nerves and for a salesman that is quite an accomplishment.

Ken the feed salesman is also my big brother. How handy is that?


Last week one day my farmer husband and I were invited to come to the feed mill at lunch time to help celebrate Ken's retirement. He has been a feed salesman with this company for several decades and a bit so . . .they must have liked him and he must have been good at his job.
This begs the question . . .what makes a salesman good?
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Well, you would think that a salesperson must have a personality that would be somewhat aggressive to be able to fill a quota of new customers. . .makes sense, right? . . .
Then it also seems that he would have to know how to put a good spin on outcomes that are less than expected. In other words he would have to be able to butter things up a bit when necessary.
Generally speaking you would expect that a good salesman would be assertive so as to not allow his customer to leave the company to the competition.
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I am somewhat astonished that my big brother was ever hired to be a salesman. None of the above characteristics would come to mind when anyone thinks of Ken.
Oddly, when the company hired him, they also were looking for other characteristics. I was curious to know what the company would say as they congratulated him on his excellent years of service.
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His boss was almost at a loss of a way to describe this salesman who had been so successful with not only his little sister and farmer husband but also with the tables of other customers who had come to bid him a happy retirement.
He may very well go down as the only successful salesman to be told by his bosses before his peers, family and customers . . . ." this man has a gentle spirit."
I wanted to stand up and cheer and say . . .yes . .. this is my brother... . . a man who has integrity . . .a man of his word . . .shucks I was proud of him.
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As a salesman, Ken had a reputation for being there for his customers. He taught many a new farmer how to take care of chickens. He developed many friendships over the years that will continue on long after the middle of the night phone calls for a rush feed order stop.
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When Ken said his few words . .he of course was soft spoken. He wanted to thank his bride of 40 years for standing by her man . . .
. .. understanding his discomfort at all the attention . .she helped him . . ..
"just give me a kiss" Mary said. Of course he did and smiled at her the very same way that I've witnessed for as long as I can remember.


So, where will he go from here? Well, besides continuing to be a farmer himself, Ken and Mary are going to be enjoying their growing family. Their oldest son Dwain and their daughter by love Lori are expecting their third child.
The little farm hands are growing up so fast and they love to spend time with their grandpa.

Ken and Mary have very recently welcomed their newest member of the family. Ken Jr and their daughter by love Natalie just had baby Liam.
Liam didn't know that his very first celebration that he ever attended was to his Grandpa's retirement party. Oh little Liam . . grow up to be like your grandpa.

Their one and only daughter Tammy with her husband Quinn and their little daughter Shaye flew out to be there. Shaye is an adorable bundle of fun. Her grandpa has a soft spot for this little muffin. I've seen him smile at her the very same way he smiles at his own little girl.


So Ken, Have a very Happy Birthday.
May God bless you as you continue to run the race set before you. May you continue to find joy in serving your Lord and Saviour wherever you are led.
You are a good man .. . this little sister is proud to have a brother like you.

12 comments:

  1. What a lovely tribute to Ken and his family. I too have found Ken to be all that you say. I also wish him Gods best as he slows down to enjoy the life God has given him. CONGRATULATIONS KEN!!

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  2. Ken was our feed rep for years and I always said, "He was the nicest guy around, because he was so soft spoken, polite and always loved to stop by for coffee." He loved to shoot the breeze about what mattered most in his life. I've missed him since we changed feed companies.
    Now I can make the connections
    This is amazing.

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  3. Well what can I say to an absolutely amazing father-in-law! I don't think I could love you more if you were my own dad! I have known you for nearly 1 1/2 of those decades you were a feed salesman and I'm proud to say I'm part of a family that stands for so much and has a father that lives his life pleasing to God and isn't afraid to show his faith. May your retirement be one of relaxation and new adventures! Love from all of us! Dwain,Lori,Ryan, Jacob and babe!

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  4. Now Lovella, that's what I call a salesman!!
    Happy retirement to your brother...and a b'day at the same time??

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  5. Well, I don't know Ken...but it feels like I do now. What a nice tribute to your brother. We have friends who knew him from the industry & hold him in the highest regard!

    PS Elmer noticed the nice, old truck!

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  6. What a nice post! It's all so true. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful dad, and I can say that he does have a "gentle spirit" because his son does too! I wish dad all the best in his retirement. Happy Birthday!

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  7. Congratulations, Ken (and Mary) & best wishes for your exciting future!
    Vange

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  8. What a nice testament to your brother.You are so sweet Lovella and a good writer to boot.It was so nice to have you and Terry at this special occation. We both felt so blessed. God has been so good.We were also thrilled that all our kids were there to share in the celebration. I was thrilled that they totally surprized Ken with having so many of his customers there. By the way great photography. Your sis~in-love Mary

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  9. Aww...that'sweet of you to give your brother this tribute. I wish I would have read it before I went to the wedding today, where I sat beside him at the ceremony. I could have congratulated him (and Mary) too.

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  10. I have known Ken for all of my sixty years, and I can attest that all you say about him is true.
    Well done, Lovella!!

    Wishing you a very blessed retirement, Ken and a Happy Birthday !!!!
    What a testament to your life to have left an impression of integrity and honor and a caring heart.

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  11. Well that is so nice of you. Very exciting for your brother. My dad is also retiring this week. He turns 65 on thursday and yesterday he had a couple of retirement parties. It is very exciting. I can't wait to see my dad relaxing more and having fun.

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  12. A very happy retirement to Ken. What a wonderful tribute by his sis!

    LaTeaDah

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Thank you!