Like many of you, my roots are in rural Minnesota. I grew up working in my parents’ gas station where my dad worked 80-90 hours per week.
My dad’s upbringing was unusual for his era because his parents divorced when he was very young. In Dad’s case, it gave him a lifelong affinity for supporting and giving hope to the underdog. His belief was that a dream, conviction, and hard work could overcome any barrier and lead to success. Dad never lost his drive to help kids who lacked a fatherly role model. In his later years, he organized a drive to create a baseball field for his hometown of Lake Crystal, which led to one of his proudest moments in life, when the field was named “Collis Field” in his honor.
My dad used to say, “We don’t have a lot materially, but we are amongst the richest people in the world because we live in a special country called America. Here we can become whatever our hard work and dreams believe that we can become.” This is called the American Dream.
Thanks, Dad for giving infinitely more riches than any material wealth could ever provide.