(top left & center) An early Twister box lid and the spinner; (top right) Finger Twister! (row two, l to r) A giant Twister matt; And a giant inflatable, bouncy Twister; (row three l to r) Make your own Twister board with washable paints and chalks on grass, asphalt or concrete; (row four l to r) Twister game board costume; Twister morph-suit; Twister leggings; Twister sox—gotta get me some of them; (row five l to r) Twister duvet cover; Twister spinner key chain; (row six l to r) A really bad and scary twister; A tongue twister; A really bad and not so scary 1996 movie called Twister staring Helen Hunt and some guy; (row seven) Twister fun can be had anywhere you have enough space; (row eight l to r) Johnny Carson shows the world how to play Twister with guest Eva Gabor in 1966. See below for what the current Tonight Show host did with Twister; A Monsanto trade ad featuring a crowded twister game to promote their new additive for deodorant soaps. (bottom) The hot new Kowalski Heat Treating version of the Twister game board!

Driving home the other day I saw a bunch of kids playing on their front lawn, and it took me back to my kid days again.  We had so much fun growing up – Mom would say – “get outside and get some fresh air – just be home before the street lights come on” … what freedom we had.  On rainy days I’d have my buddies over to play inside. One of our favorite games was Twister – getting all tied up and laughing all the while. Then fast forward a “few” years and my own girls would be playing the same game, having a great time figuring things out!  Little did I know back then, I’d be the chief “twister fixer” for my customers, taking products and projects that are all tied up, working out the kinks and enjoying myself along the way.  We call this solving your PIA (pain in the @%$) Jobs!  Most of the time I watch my teams “on the colored dot mat”, working together, testing and retesting, until things are just right. Now, occasionally we fall down, but the beauty of my team and life in general is not falling down because that’s going to happen, rather it’s getting back up that makes my folks so great!  I found out Twister was based on a project that inventor Reyn Guyer was working on originally as a promotion for Johnson’s shoe polish company. Guyer created a polka dot paper mat and then thought it would be better as a game. He tested this with a group of office workers, which were divided into two teams, and called it ‘Pretzel’.   50 years later, we’re still enjoying his genius.  Enjoy!

  • In 1964, Reyn Guyer owned and managed a design company which made in-store displays for Fortune 500 companies. While working on designing a promotion for his client, the S.C. Johnson Company, his son, Reyn Jr., developed the idea that a game could utilize people as playing pieces on a life-sized game board. His first attempt he called “Kings Footsie”, but when he showed it to the 3M Company, who had a line of up-scale board games, they rejected the idea.
  • Charles Foley, was a respected and successful toy designer for Lakeside Industries in Minneapolis and answered an ad for an experienced toy designer by Reynolds Guyer Sr. of Guyer Company. After interviewing Foley, Guyer and his son discussed the possibility of starting a small division of the company in product development. His father agreed, for a short term, to support his son’s idea for product development, and hired Foley, who negotiated a royalty agreement with Guyer Company for all games and toy items designed by Foley. Guyer Company agreed, and officially hired Foley. Foley hired Neil Rabens, an accomplished product design artist with an art degree from the Minneapolis School of Art and Design.
  • The game ideas ranged from small kids’ games to word games for adults. Foley had an idea for utilizing people as a part of the game idea, “a party game”. Rabens had the idea to utilize a colored mat, allowing people to interact with each other, in a game idea he had developed while a student in design school. Foley saw the idea and developed the concept for having the colored dots line up in rows, and, with a spinner, created the idea for calling out players’ hands and feet to the colored dots called out from the spinner. This would create a tangled-up situation between two people, and the one that falls first would lose.
  • Foley and Neil Rabens submitted for patents (US Pat# 3,454,279) and trademark rights for what was originally called “Pretzel”. Foley, with his extensive experience in the toy industry, called on his good friend, Mel Taft, Sr. V.P. for Milton Bradley in 1966, for a product idea presentation.
  • In the fall of 1965, Foley and Guyer Jr. took the game to the Milton Bradley Company in Springfield, MA where Mel Taft, the senior vice-president of R & D, chose Pretzel as the best of the eight game ideas. Mel found there was a trademark problem, so he changed the game’s name to Twister, and Milton Bradley began to market it in 1966. It was the first game on store shelves that used players as the playing pieces.
  • When the Milton Bradley Company found that several major retailers refused to stock the game, Taft called Foley to tell him that they were cancelling their television advertising and pulling the product from the store shelves. What executives at Milton Bradley did not know was the public relations company Mel had hired had already been paid. So, he let the plan to have Twister played on the Tonight Show go forward.
  • On May 3, 1966 Johnny Carson, the host of the Tonight Show, was enticed by the Twister mat and demonstrated the game along with actress Eva Gabor. The next morning there were 50 people standing in line to buy the game at Abercrombie & Fitch where a few games had not been returned. Three million Twister games were sold in the following year. Several spin-off games have followed over the years such as: Twister Moves, Twister Dance, Twister Hoopla, and many others.
  • In 1967 Twister was named the “Game of the Year”. With this success, Reynolds Guyer Sr. offered Foley and Rabens a chance to run their new toy and game development division. Mr. Foley agreed to run the Toy design company with the current royalty agreement be included in the new agreement. Reynolds Guyer Sr. wanted to dismiss any and all royalty agreements going forward. Mr. Foley did not agree with the newly proposed agreement (dismissing any and all royalty rights).
  • In 1985, Hasbro acquired the Milton Bradley Company, becoming Twister’s parent company. The Reyn Guyer Creative Group continues to work closely with Hasbro to develop and market new additions to the line of Twister products, including CD’s, dancing, hopscotch, holla hoops.
  • The World’s Largest Twister Mat was put together on June 18, 2010 in Bell where town, MA on the Bell where town High School football field. It consisted of 1008 Twister mats donated by Hasbro and measured 24,156 square feet. The previous record, as cited by the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest game of Twister included 4,699 square feet of mats that were combined together.
  • Co-inventor Charles Foley died on July 1, 2013 at the age of 82.
  • Twister tournaments are used as a source of philanthropic events put on by college fraternities and sororities to raise money for a charitable cause. Many of these Greek tournaments are held annually, and are a good way to get involved with the community
  • There are publicly available instructions on how to alter a Twister game to make it accessible to color-blind individuals and to completely blind individuals.
  • On May 3, 2016, the Hasbro Company began the celebration of Twister’s 50th anniversary following Reyn Guyer’s introduction of his book, “Right Brain Red”, which tells the whole tale of its beginnings.
  • To learn more, visit:


(left) See the Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon with guest Kristen Stewart face off in a game of “Jell-O shot” Twister. (right) Watch this quaint 1966 commercial promoting the new game Twister.




On July 20

(top) Earth sweet earth; (row two) You know that image that everyone has seen again and again of the footprint on the moon? Well, this is what it looked like before he got his foot out of the way; (row three) Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot, prepares to deploy the Early Apollo Scientific Experiments Package; (row four left) The gold replica of an olive branch, the traditional symbol of peace, which was left on the moon’s surface by Apollo 11 crewmembers. It is less than half a foot in length. The gesture represents a fresh wish for peace for all mankind; (row four, top right) Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. moves to deploy two components of the Scientific Experiments. The Passive Seismic Experiments Package is in his left hand and in his right hand is the Laser Ranging Retro-Reflector. Neil Armstrong took this photograph with a 70mm lunar surface camera; (row four, bottom right) Our wonderful flag (with all of the footprints) planted on the moon! Are you kidding!!! (bottom) The Apollo 11 crew await pickup by a helicopter from the USS Hornet. They splashed down at 11:49 a.m. (CDT), July 24, 1969, about 812 nautical miles southwest of Hawaii and only 12 nautical miles from the USS Hornet. Wow!! God Bless America!!!


Talk about a PIA (Pain in the @%$) Job!  When the President of the United States gives you a project, never before attempted, you accept.  And then set out to accomplish the greatest event in history. Given all the space specials and history news this week, you probably know tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing.  With so many amazing problem-solving solutions that had to come together, it’s tough to find them all.  A task this big, with no past history, is simply unheard of – but we did it. My team solves PIA (Pain in the @%$) jobs each and every day.  When I explored deeper into the history of Apollo 11 I was amazed and humbled at the dedication of this previous generation.   All of us Americans should /can be so proud of their accomplishments and know that together there is nothing we in these wonderful United States can’t solve together!  Here is some fun trivia from the mission.  Enjoy! And special thanks to NASA, Smithsonian, cnet, and Wikipedia.

The ultimate PIA (pain in the @%$ Job(s)! – On May 25, 1961, when Kennedy asked Congress to send Americans to the Moon before the 1960s were over, NASA had no rockets to launch astronauts to the Moon, no computer portable enough to guide a spaceship to the Moon, no spacesuits to wear on the way, no spaceship to land astronauts on the surface (let alone a Moon car to let them drive around and explore), no network of tracking stations to talk to the astronauts en route, no Mission Control, no nutrition plan, no multi-gravity food – in essence we didn’t even know what was needed.

Our unpreparedness for the task goes a level deeper: We didn’t even know how to fly to the Moon. We didn’t know what course to fly to get there from here. And as the small example of lunar dirt shows, we didn’t know what we would find when we got there. Physicians worried that people wouldn’t be able to think in micro-gravity conditions. Mathematicians worried that we wouldn’t be able to calculate how to rendezvous two spacecraft in orbit—to bring them together in space and dock them in flight both perfectly and safely.

Ten thousand problems had to be solved to get us to the Moon. Every one of those challenges was tackled and mastered between May 1961 and July 1969. The astronauts, the nation, flew to the Moon because hundreds of thousands of scientists, engineers, managers and factory workers unraveled a series of puzzles, often without knowing whether the puzzle had a good solution.

Here are just some of the PIA Jobs that were solved:

  • That computer navigated through space and helped the astronauts operate the ship. But the astronauts also traveled to the Moon with paper star charts so they could use a sextant to take star sightings—like 18th-century explorers on the deck of a ship—and cross-check their computer’s navigation.
  • The software of the computer was stitched together by women sitting at specialized looms—using wire instead of thread.
  • The heat shield was applied to the spaceship by hand with a fancy caulking gun;
  • The parachutes were sewn by hand, and then folded by hand. The only three staff members in the country who were trained and licensed to fold and pack the Apollo parachutes were considered so indispensable that NASA officials forbade them to ever ride in the same car, to avoid their all being injured in a single accident.
  • Three times as many people worked on Apollo as on the Manhattan Project to create the atomic bomb. In 1961, the year Kennedy formally announced Apollo, NASA spent $1 million on the program for the year. Five years later NASA was spending about $1 million every three hours on Apollo, 24 hours a day.
  • The LM was, in fact, perhaps the strangest flying craft ever created. It was the first, and remains the only, manned spacecraft designed solely for use off Earth. It would never have to fly through an atmosphere, so it didn’t need the structural robustness that would require.
  • The lunar module’s other significant challenge was that it could never be test-flown before being used for its critical role. There’s no place on Earth to take a spaceship designed for flight in a zero-gravity vacuum and fly it around. So the people who would pilot the lunar modules to the Moon never practiced flying them, except in simulators, which were designed and built by people who had never flown a lunar module.
  • For the first Moonwalk ever, Sonny Reihm was inside NASA’s Mission Control building, watching every move on the big screen. Reihm was a supervisor for the most important Moon technology after the lunar module itself: the spacesuits, the helmets, the Moonwalk boots. The spacesuits were the work of Playtex, the folks who brought America the “Cross Your Heart Bra” in the mid-1950s, a company with a lot of expertise developing clothing that had to be flexible as well as form-fitting.  The suits were hand stitched marvels: 21 layers of nested fabric, strong enough to stop a micrometeorite, but still flexible enough for Aldrin’s kangaroo hops and quick cuts.

And here is some trivia about the mission:

  • On July 20, 1969, an estimated 650 million people around the world watched the same televised image of an otherworldly sight.  It’s an amazing number, based on the lack of cable, dish, the internet and global communications today.
  • The American flag the Apollo 11 astronauts planted on the moon was manufactured by Sears, but NASA wanted that information kept secret.
  • Tang. The powder-based orange drink from General Foods – ideal for consumption in a zero-gravity environment – soared to celebrity status in 1962 when Mercury astronaut John Glenn performed eating experiments while orbiting Earth aboard Friendship 7. Astronauts brought Tang on their missions and all manned space flights from 1965–1975.
  • There’s a mystery surrounding Neil Armstrong’s famous quote. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”  Fake news? Not exactly. Armstrong has always insisted that he said “one small step for a man,” not the widely quoted “one small step for man,” and the grainy NASA audio recordings don’t offer a definitive answer. Researchers from Michigan State University and Ohio State University set out to solve the mystery, and their findings seem to back up Armstrong’s assertion. They analyzed recordings of conversational speech from 40 people raised in Columbus, Ohio, near Armstrong’s hometown of Wapakoneta, and found that they typically blended the words “for a” so they sound like “frrr(uh)”.
  • Your cellphone is more powerful than Apollo 11’s computers.  While the Apollo Guidance Computer systems that powered Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins to the moon and back in July 1969 were cutting-edge for the time, they’re technologically primitive compared to the cell phones and smartwatches we use half a century later.  Today’s Samsung Galaxy S10 Smartphone6, with its eight gigabytes of memory, is light years ahead of the Apollo 11’s computer, which propelled our fearless astronauts to the moon and back with only two kilobytes.
  • Krispy Kreme doughnuts were served. This marketing ploy is not just empty calories: Krispy Kreme was at the launch of Apollo 11 in 1969, serving fresh doughnuts to Americans who had gathered to witness lift-off of this monumental mission.
  • “The Eagle has landed,” is one of the most famous quotes in NASA history. It was named in honor of America’s national bird, while the mission’s command module, Columbia, was named after Columbiad, the giant canon that launched the moonship in Jules Verne’s novel From the Earth to the Moon.
  • The Apollo’s Saturn rockets were packed with enough fuel to throw 100-pound shrapnel three miles, and NASA couldn’t rule out the possibility that they might explode on takeoff. NASA seated its VIP spectators three and a half miles from the launchpad.
  • Drinking water was a fuel-cell by-product, but Apollo 11’s hydrogen-gas filters didn’t work, making every drink bubbly, making going to the bathroom troublesome.
  • When Apollo 11’s lunar lander, the Eagle, separated from the orbiter, the cabin wasn’t fully depressurized, resulting in a burst of gas equivalent to popping a champagne cork. It threw the module’s landing four miles off-target.
  • Pilot Neil Armstrong nearly ran out of fuel landing the Eagle, and many at mission control worried he might crash. Apollo engineer Milton Silveira, however, was relieved: His tests had shown that there was a small chance the exhaust could shoot back into the rocket as it landed and ignite the remaining propellant.
  • The “one small step for man” wasn’t actually that small. Armstrong set the ship down so gently that its shock absorbers didn’t compress. He had to hop 3.5 feet from the Eagle’s ladder to the surface.
  • The astronauts all carried Duro-brand felt-tip pens, and if not for these the mission would not have made it home. In the cramped environment, someone had broken off the switch to the circuit breaker that activated the ascent engine. This is where Aldrin had a flash of ingenuity. “Since it was electrical, I decided not to put my finger in, or use anything that had metal on the end. I had a felt-tipped pen in the shoulder pocket of my suit that might do the job. After moving the countdown procedure up by a couple of hours in case it didn’t work, I inserted the pen into the small opening where the circuit breaker switch should have been, and pushed it in; sure enough, the circuit breaker held. We were going to get off the moon, after all.”
  • The toughest moonwalk task? Planting the flag. NASA’s studies suggested that the lunar soil was soft, but Armstrong and Aldrin found the surface to be a thin wisp of dust over hard rock. They managed to drive the flagpole a few inches into the ground and film it for broadcast, and then took care not to accidentally knock it over.
  • A few minutes after Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, fellow Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins remained in orbit.  They sent a message back asking for a moment’s silence. In this time, Aldrin, an elder in his local Presbyterian Church, had a little communion ceremony of his own, reading scripture and taking the sacrament.  “I ate the tiny Host and swallowed the wine. I gave thanks for the intelligence and spirit that had brought two young pilots to the Sea of Tranquility. It was interesting for me to think: The very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there, were the communion elements.”
  • Along with the American flag, the Apollo 11 mission left behind a small collection of items. Among them were medallions honouring Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, and Vladimir Komarov, both of whom died tragically. Komarov’s death is particularly shocking. The story goes that he knew he was probably going to die on the 1967 mission to put a man into Earth orbit. He didn’t back out, because Gagarin was his back-up and he didn’t want Gagarin to die.
  • On their return to Earth, the three astronauts were brought back via Hawaii. On their entry, they had to be processed like any other traveler, filling out customs declarations. In the “Departure From” field, they simply wrote “Moon,” and declared the “moon dust” and “moon rock” as items they were bringing back into America.
  • Life insurance premiums for a trip to the moon were well beyond the means of Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins. As a preemptive measure to take care of their loved ones if they didn’t come back, the astronauts signed hundreds of postal covers. If they did not return, their families could sell these signatures. Today, these signed postal covers occasionally show up in space memorabilia auctions, where they can sell for thousands of dollars.
  • President Richard Nixon had a contingency speech lined up for if the mission failed, too. You can read it here.
  • The Moon has a smell. It has no air, but it has a smell. Each pair of Apollo astronauts to land on the Moon tramped lots of Moon dust back into the lunar module—it was deep gray, fine-grained and extremely clingy—and when they unsnapped their helmets, Neil Armstrong said, “We were aware of a new scent in the air of the cabin that clearly came from all the lunar material that had accumulated on and in our clothes.” To him, it was “the scent of wet ashes.” To his crewmate Buzz Aldrin, it was “the smell in the air after a firecracker has gone off.

CLICK HERE to download this cool chart I found on the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s website. It shows the major events of the Apollo 11 mission from ignition to splashdown. Everything had to go absolutely right on this mega PIA job.


What Armstrong and Aldrin Saw: Simulation vs. Original 16mm Film

WANT CHILLS TO GO UP YOUR SPINE? WATCH AND LISTEN TO THIS!  The only visual record of the historic Apollo 11 landing is from a 16mm time-lapse (6 frames per second) movie camera mounted in Buzz Aldrin’s window. The visual above is from the footage (l to r) at 568 feet, 370 feet, 230 feet and 15 feet.  More notes and links on the You Tube page.




That Burning Sensation

No matter what you like to do outside, gotta play it safe with sun exposure. 

With this most recent batch of amazing weather, it got me thinking about sun exposure and the impact of prolonged sun on skin.  Like most of us, I LOVE being outside – riding bikes, running, kayaking with Jackie and the girls, playing golf with my buds or just enjoying the summer breeze in the backyard. I’ve experienced that “burning sensation” telling me it’s time to get out of the sun or put on more protection. For those who don’t know I am what some might call follicley challenged (bald!) So…. This blog really hits home with me.    As “heat people” we know a thing or two about heat, cold and temperature, when we’re solving your PIA (pain in the #$%) Jobs! I decided to do some digging on sunscreen and found this great article at along with some tips on Wikipedia.  Take a read and be sure to load up on the sunblock – and ENJOY this amazing weather.

  • Whether you’re lounging on the beach, going for a run or bike ride or hiking up a mountain, when you’re outside, you’re pummeled by invisible rays that can cause your skin to darken and burn. This ultraviolet (UV) radiation can also damage DNA in your skin cells, causing genetic mutations that can lead to skin cancer. Fortunately, you can protect against many of the damaging effects of these rays with sunscreen.
  • Sunscreens, which can be sprays, lotions, gels or waxes, are usually made up of a mix of chemicals. Inorganic chemicals in sunscreen can reflect or scatter the light away from the skin, and organic (carbon-based) ones can absorb UV rays so that our skin doesn’t.
  • Some inorganic chemicals, including minerals such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, act as a physical sunblock. They reflect UV rays, similar to how white paint reflects light. The white-colored noses on beach-goers in the 1980s and 1990s were due to these compounds; because manufacturers make the inorganic particles much smaller now, we don’t see the visible white.
  • Along with inorganic chemicals, sunscreens often contain organic chemicals, with names such as avobenzone or oxybenzone. Instead of physically deflecting UV light, these molecules absorb UV radiation through their chemical bonds. As the bonds absorb UV radiation, the components of the sunscreen slowly break down and release heat.
  • The SPF (introduced in 1974) on sunscreen bottles stands for Sun Protection Factor (I never knew this) and refers to how well the sunscreen protects against one type of UV radiation, called UVB (it may be helpful to think B for burning). UVB rays cause sunburn and several types of skin cancer.
  • To understand how the rating works – “SPF 15” means that ​115 of the burning radiation will reach the skin, assuming sunscreen is applied evenly at a thick dosage of 2 milligrams per square centimeter (mg/cm2). A user can determine the effectiveness of a sunscreen by multiplying the SPF by the length of time it takes for him or her to suffer a burn without sunscreen. (Thus, if a person develops a sunburn in 10 minutes when not wearing a sunscreen, the same person in the same intensity of sunlight will take 150 minutes to develop a sunburn of the same severity if wearing a sunscreen with an SPF of 15) It is important to note that sunscreens with higher SPF do not last or remain effective on the skin any longer than lower SPF and must be continually reapplied as directed, usually every two hours.
  • The SPF is an imperfect measure of skin damage because invisible damage and skin aging are also caused by ultraviolet type A (UVA, wavelengths 315–400 or 320–400 nm), which does not primarily cause reddening or pain. Conventional sunscreen blocks very little UVA radiation relative to the nominal SPF; broad-spectrum sunscreens are designed to protect against both UVB and UVA.
  • Another type of radiation, called UVA radiation, penetrates deeper into the skin and can cause premature wrinkling, age spots and can also heighten the risk for some skin cancer.  Sunscreen lotions labeled broad-spectrum block against both UVA and UVB, but currently there is no standard for listing UVA blocking power. Inorganic chemicals that deflect sunlight will deflect both UVA and UVB rays.
  • The ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) is a similar scale developed for rating fabrics for sun protective clothing. According to recent testing by Consumer Reports, UPF ~30+ is typical for protective fabrics, while UPF ~20 is typical for standard summer fabrics.
  • Most organizations recommend using sunscreen with an SPF between 15 and 50 (SPF ratings higher than 50 have not been proven to be more effective than SPF 50). A sunscreen with an SPF of 15 protects against about 93 percent of UVB rays, and one with an SPF of 30 protects against 97 percent of rays, according to the Mayo Clinic. No SPF can block 100 percent of UV rays.  I am a SPF 50 man (It’s because I am such a sensitive soul!)
  • Because most people don’t use enough sunscreen and because sunscreen tends to rub or wash off, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends reapplying sunscreen within two hours regardless of its strength, and using at least an ounce (a shot glass-full) for maximum protection.  My guess is that most of us do fall into the not enough category!  Also, I think we should only use shot glasses as God intended!
  • For people with fair skin, health organizations strongly recommend also using a hat and sunglasses, long sleeve clothing and shade to protect your skin.  For those of us that ‘BRONZE”  a hat should be fine!




Please Leave Me A Message

Anymore, selfies are the way most people remember their great vacations. Don’t forget to take yours!


It’s that time of year, when workers all across the county schedule their vacations and take time off. A favorite tactic is to wrap vacation days around traditional holiday breaks (like today), to create an extra-long weekend. With our Cleveland  weather finally cheering us on, and an abundance of “places to go and people to see” I thought I’d harken back in time and see when this wonderful idea came into vogue. Some of my fondest memories are: Growing up, Dad and Mom would take us on the great adventures around this beautiful country of ours! A few of my younger siblings have actually been to all 50 states! I am missing a few states which will make for a great story in the future. Jackie and I, with the girls have been going to Kiawah Island for over  30 years! It’s a place where one of our girls learned to walk because the sandy beaches bothered their knees. Chasing sea gulls, finding sand dollars going for long bike rides through the waves always bring smiles to our faces. For my “staycation” friends, here’s a link to awesome trips around the great state of Ohio ( Simply exploring all of the numerous sites right here in Cleveland would take weeks! And for my more adventurous friends, here is the latest list of great adventure trips ( Be sure to snap some selfies (SAFELY!) and send them over to share with our readers. Enjoy, and thanks to Wikipedia, NPR, Britannia, Goggle for the insights.

  1. In English, the word holiday was taken from the German language term for the haligdæg – holy day; back in that time, the only leisure time possible was on a Holy Day, so it makes sense why the British use the word holiday.
  2. Americans used the word vacation the way the English do, the time when teachers and students vacate the school premises and go off on their own.
  3. The Romans were the first civilization to indulge in what we’d now consider traveling for pleasure. But, rather than the one to two weeks we manage to get away for, wealthy Romans would look to get away for a staggering two years! (sign me up)
  4. The work of the army and navy in securing borders and transport against banditry, along with the ever-expanding borders of the empire, gave citizens freedom to travel without ever technically leaving Rome’s jurisdiction. This freedom led to the establishment of inns, restaurants and tour guides, everything a budding traveler would need to enjoy their trips.
  5. In the UK, during the Tudor period, leisure travel was reserved for royalty and the court. Vacations taken by monarchs were called “royal progress”, and usually involved the King or Queen traveling to different towns where they would stay, sometimes for as long as a month. Although some royal progress was taken purely for leisure, monarchs mainly traveled to other towns for publicity. The King or Queen rode around each town on horseback, meeting important people and providing the common people with a glimpse of his or her face. In 1535, King Henry VIII took a progress to present his new wife Anne Boleyn as Queen, and to promote the reformation of the Church.
  6. During the early Renaissance period, travel was mainly used for trade and battle. Means of travel was limited; roads were uneven and treacherous, with robbers lurking and setting traps. Only the rich could afford to travel safely, with groups of soldiers protecting them.
  7. Sea travel was also dangerous, with pirates patrolling the seas and storms frequently wiping out whole ships. Inns provided shelter and were popular among travelers. However, they were expensive, dirty and uncomfortable, with guests often sharing single beds. Those people lucky enough to be on vacation would usually be found staying with friends or relatives, where they could receive the comfort they’d expect to find at home. See Airbnb is not such a new thing after all!
  8. Luckily for everyone else, the industrial revolution saw the rise of the steam train, which enabled common people to pack up and travel to new locations. The first American steam train named Tom Thumb made its first journey in Baltimore in 1830, and within years the steam train was the most popular form of mass transport. This enabled people to travel to the beach en masse for their vacations.
  9. One of the little-known turning points in the history of American travel occurred in the spring of 1869, when a handsome young preacher from Boston named William H.H. Murray published one of the first guidebooks to a wilderness area. In describing the Adirondack Mountains—a 9,000-square-mile expanse of lakes, forests and rivers in upstate New York—Murray broached the then-outrageous idea that an excursion into raw nature could actually be pleasurable.
  10. Before that date, most Americans considered the country’s primeval landscapes only as obstacles to be conquered. But Murray’s self-help opus, Adventures in the Wilderness; or, Camp-Life in the Adirondacks, suggested that hiking, canoeing and fishing in unsullied nature were the ultimate health tonic for harried city dwellers whose constitutions were weakened by the demands of civilized life.
  11. Over time, the vacation became a middle-class institution, as well as a time for physical, mental and spiritual self-improvement, not to mention sheer entertainment. Doctors and ministers began to say it’s important to get away for your health as fears emerged about businessmen who were suffering brain fatigue.  As apposed to simply being forgetful!
  12. As the railroad expanded, and of course the automobile, people were realizing they could get to a shore, visit a hotel and enjoy the water.  In the US, a whole new vacationing infrastructure began to grow.
  13. Vacations truly came into their own in the 20th century. Beaches were attractive to crowds not for the sea air, but mainly for the man-made attractions on piers. The early 20th century saw people flocking to Florida to enjoy the various entertainments, most notably the underwater theatre at Weeki Wachee Springs.  Today, destinations like Disneyland have become multi-million-dollar extravaganzas.
  14. The 50’s and 60’s saw the explosion of family vacations – load up the station wagon and head off to the beach.  Depending on your location, you could head west, head north or head south – beaches, mountains, woods and more – everyone had a place they loved to visit, while some made it to all 50 states.
  15. With instant information at our fingertips, booking a vacation is easier than ever – airfare, cars, airbnb, Uber and Lyft and so much more.  Vacations are planned in an instant, and off we go.
  16. Space travel has always captured our imagination. We dream of visiting the moon and beyond. But, for the first time in human history we’re now seeing serious effort being put in to creating actual colonies in space. That effort is coming from Elon Musk and his Space X project.
  17. For our grandchildren and their children, the prospect of vacationing on Mars is a very real possibility. More than that, it’s something which actively excites our imaginations. 700 people have already signed up to fly into space with Virgin Galactic, and they will surely be the first of many.
  18. The deep seas will also become open to us as a travel location. There’s so much to see and experience down there, some will question why we’d ever want to go to space? Why go and see blackness, when you can see the wonders of the deep seas. Companies are offing special visits to the ocean floor.   VISIT THE TITANIC   •   THE $800 DIVE TO 1,000 FEET   •   BUY YOUR OWN TRITON 3300/3. DIVE TO 3,300 FEET.  ON SALE NOW FOR JUST $3 MILLION.  
  19. Marriott hotels are already offering virtual reality services to their clients and we’ll see more and more chains offer the same in the future. Tools like the Oculus Rift make virtual reality something all of us can enjoy, rather than a hobby for the techy few.  Now, we won’t have to travel at all, just shut the door, (turn on the sun lamp) and “go” on vacation to places near and far. Although VR is improving, that will never match digging your toes into the sand or climbing a trail!  Call me old school, but spending time with Jackie beats all!




God Bless America!

For all of the challenges we as a country face, The United States of America is still the Greatest country on Earth and I would not want to live anywhere else!
God Bless America!