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The Rocker Recliner

In my bedroom I have an upholstered chair known as a “rocker recliner.”  My dad was in the furniture business as a manufacturer and this blue, velvety upholstered chair came from his factory, Mechanics Furniture Manufacturers, in Worcester, Massachusetts back in the 1970’s. The rocker recliner was a popular item back in the day. It allowed the person using it to rock or to recline and it swiveled side-to-side.

Ronnie Was My Grandparents’ Pride and Joy

It was originally owned by my aunt Ronnie Kramer who lived in North Hollywood, California. Ronnie was the pride and joy of our family because she worked in “the industry” as personal assistant to Danny Thomas and later, his daughter Marlo Thomas (of “That Girl” fame), before starting her own recruiting agency for film production workers.

Ronnie was my dad’s younger sister and with just a 20 year difference between us, we related as if she was my older sister. I moved to Los Angeles at her invitation in 1988 after she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Together, we braved some of the hardships she underwent during the short time we had together. When she died in November 1989 it was up to me to dispose of many of her personal possessions.

I kept the rocker recliner as a memory of her and also of my father’s furniture business. As a child, I spent many weekends exploring the four floors of “the factory” at 306 Shrewsbury Street in Worcester, MA, playing hide and seek with my brother and sister. When I was a little older, I was allowed to work there sweeping the floors around the double rows of sewing machines where the Italian ladies worked.

My Rocker Recliner Brings Back Fond Memories of My Years in Worcester

I loved being there and over time I got to know all of the longtime employees pretty well. There was Frankie Pelligrino, the shop foreman and his wife Vickie, the head seamstress. There was Angelo Pelligrino – Frank’s brother, who was an upholsterer and who I considered my friend. Then there was Emil, the German fabric cutter who was stern but always nice to me. I also remember Jimmy Mitti, the shop’s truck driver (although my Uncle Arnie would sometimes fill in when a delivery needed to be made) and Joe, the African American driver who worked there at one time.

It was at the factory where I developed an appreciation for people of all cultures and in doing so, I always felt like we were all equal in stature. I may have been the boss’s daughter but I felt just as much at home with the people who worked there.

Most every night now, I sit in that rocker recliner because it brings me comfort to think back to those days. That chair is all I have to remind me of the factory. It closed in the early 1990’s after the furniture manufacturing industry moved, first, to the southern United States, and then, to China. I know my dad was always very disappointed that he wasn’t able to leave us more of an inheritance from the more than 50 years of the factory’s existence.

The building, which my family owned, was sold to a records storage facility which now anonymously occupies that location with its chain link fence and padlocked front door. It’s no longer the friendly place I used to visit as a child with its well – worn wooden stairs leading up to the office or down to the furniture showroom.

The last time I stopped by the old factory building, the security guy motioned me to leave and wouldn’t allow me to take a quick look inside.

I won’t ever go back there again, but I will hold onto that rocker recliner until it falls apart. Every night before I go to sleep, I sit in that chair and I enjoy the legacy of this 50 year old upholstered chair, now well – worn, and I get to hold onto a piece of my past.

Storytelling: The Secret Weapon That Always Works – If You Do it Right!

Marketing and promoting businesses always works best when you are able to tell a story that either impacts your readers or informs them of a problem that you can resolve. In my days as a news reporter, I always interviewed several news sources for each story I told, giving my radio listeners the pros and cons of the issue at hand. This involved anything from changes in legislation and issues affecting the environment to factors that affected the education and safety of one’s children. In each of the stories I wrote, there was always a real person who was impacted by whatever was taking place.

So how do you tell your story and what story should you tell?

For starters, the story you tell should directly address the concerns of your client base and it should always end with some sort of resolution that you or your firm can provide.

For instance, an estate, trust and probate attorney I recently worked with told me a story about how he was hired to represent the wife of a deceased man who owned property outside of the marriage that he had inherited from his parents. Because the wife was not named as a joint owner of the property, that property was set to go to probate. He further told that one of the man’s three children was addicted to methamphetamine, living on the street, and running roughshod through the family’s finances. The story then involved how he, the attorney, would represent the wife and what consequences might come out of that representation.

In another scenario, a real estate investment company asked me to write blogs for them depicting different scenarios in which they had either saved investors money or prevented a loss. The stories were right there waiting to be told and in the process of doing so, the client was able to achieve better visibility for the work they do, combining both their marketing efforts and public relations work, in one perfect story.

When you tell a story, you always want to hold the readers’ attention. This means don’t bog the story down with too much detail. In the process of describing the problem, you always want to paint as vivid a picture as possible for your readers so they can take this journey with you on an emotional as well as an intellectual level.

Finally, when you provide the solution, make sure you attribute the actions you took to reach a positive conclusion – whether or not it was a win. Sometimes things don’t turn out the way we want them to and we have no control over the outcome. By acknowledging this and explaining what you did to bring about the best possible outcome, you will substantiate your value and create credibility for yourself.

If, at any time, you need help writing your blogs or coming up with ideas to write about – please contact me, Writer For Hire® Pat Kramer, and I will walk you through the process and help you get this done in a timely manner. My company has been in business for nearly 30 years writing effective and creative marketing and PR materials for a wide variety of clients. As a memoir writer, ghostwriter, and business, marketing and PR writer, I can create better visibility and memorability for your firm.

Write About Your Experiences

          When I was a young woman in college, my journalism professor asked me to write about a life experience that had influenced me to choose my major in Mass Communications. I remembered how moved I was, as an elementary school student, in reading about the life of Anne Frank as written in her diary during WWII. Anne’s honesty about her feelings and experiences, living with her family and neighbors in close quarters, hidden behind a wall, captured my interest and imagination. It was from that experience that I decided to become a writer.
           So my question to you today is: what experience do you recall from your past that acted as a motivator for you to do what you now do for a profession? Was it a person, an event, someone you met or spoke to, saw in a movie, read about in a book or article, or was it some other influence that touched your heart?
           We all have life experience from the work that we now do and that life experience makes for good stories. Telling a story is the best way to capture the attention of your audience as it brings to life an experience that others can relate to or learn from.
           The next time you are thinking about writing a blog, just think of a life experience that you had or are having — and then write about it.
            If you need help in putting your thoughts on paper, I am always happy to collaborate with others to capture the essence of what they are trying to express. Writing for me is a labor of love. Please contact me if you have any questions about something that you would like to write – for business or personal use. I’m always willing to listen and provide feedback.
            For more information, please visit: www.writerpatkramer.com or email: pat@writerpatkramer.com.