One of my most enjoyable activities is getting together with true lifelong friends. It seems like only yesterday that it was September of 1973 and I arrived at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin for my freshman year where I was assigned to Colman Hall. On that first day I met a group of other 18-year-olds that included Gary, Jimmy, Mark, Steve, and Craig. Our dorm counsellors took all of us outside to play football and get to know one another — it really does feel like yesterday!
Well, somehow it is exactly 50 years later, and we still keep in touch — although none of us is still playing football😉 Last week we met at American Family Field in Milwaukee to see the Milwaukee Brewers play the Minnesota Twins, a wonderful time to get together, trade stories, and reflect on everything that has transpired since our last adventure. I was hoping the Brewers would lose so my Cubbies could pick up a game in the standings, but no such luck. 🙁
From our get-together in Milwaukee, it was off to Singapore, where I am currently writing this post the day after my 20 hour flight from Chicago. I am here for several days to participate in the Kellogg Global Family Business Summit, give a few company presentations, and get together with the Kellogg Singapore Alumni Club. I try to meet with Kellogg Alumni during my travels as often as possible.
I had the opportunity to come to Singapore quite often during my years at Baxter since it was the location of one of our most productive manufacturing facilities. Singapore is one of my favorite countries. The people are friendly, it has a vibrant economy, and there are many fun activities for visitors. I am fortunate to have one of my daughters, Shannon, join me for the trip. Whenever possible, I still try to bring Julie or one of our five children on my trips.
One of the many advantages of having Shannon with me is she immediately sets up an itinerary of everything we must see whenever I am not working. In less than 24 hours yesterday we had already visited the Singapore Night Festival, toured the National Museum of Singapore, attended mass at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, and walked about 10 miles!!
Being a great lover of history, I appreciated the opportunity at the museum to review the history of Singapore beginning in the 13th century, the colonial period, the occupation by the Japanese during the second World War, and the development of the country led by Lee Kuan Yew from a relatively poor country into one of the strongest economies in the world — a truly remarkable transformation over the past 58 years since becoming an independent country in 1965!!!
Since Shannon wants to go on another tour this evening, I better stop here. 😉