Jim Stark Blog

Atta Boys

My company newsletter, the Weekly Brief which I started in the early 1980s, included stories related to our electrical wholesaling business, such as sales successes, new products being introduced, and customer information. However, by far its most popular feature was employee recognitions. The newsletter was distributed company-wide every Monday and I must admit when the […]


My middle name is Frederick. That was my grandmother’s family name on my father’s side. Grandmother had three brothers. Her brother Vard and his wife Beryl had two sons, one of them named Robert R. Frederick (Bob). My dad, his brother Paul, and cousin Bob were good friends. Bob graduated from DePauw University and has […]

Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company

      Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company, State Street, Chicago, Ill  As a college student approaching the end of my school years and looking forward to a career—whatever it would be—I learned my school, North Central College, had Co-Op arrangements with several corporations in which students could enter fulltime training programs while still earning […]

Personal Computers

I always enjoyed writing but was a poor speller—and still am—so didn’t share my compositions with many people. In 1980 I became aware of machines called word processors that corrected spelling. Actually, they had been around for about 10-years but in much simpler form. IBM had a Selectric typewriter they introduced in 1969 that was […]

Two-Wheeled Adventures, Chapter Four, 2014, & 2018

My plan for the summer of 2014’s extended motorcycle ride was to head up into Canada, stopping in Michigan to visit favorite places and then cross into Toronto and Ottawa with camping stays in Montreal and Quebec. I would return to the U.S. in Maine revisiting favorite haunts, then follow the St Lawrence River on […]