Back on the shady side of thirty, I decided it was time to stop being my husband's personal cheerleader and find my own essential Self. And I was fortunate enough to land a job as a receptionist to a chiropractor-cum-entrepreneur-cum-business mogul.
Rolla J. Pennell, B.S., D.C. had created a model for the financial success of chiropractors, podiatrists and psychologists. He led by example; certainly that was obvious in the acquisitions of mansions, luxury cars, gorgeous female employees and exotic vacations. But what was not immediately noticed was Dr. Pennell's own challenge.
Rolla had fallen, escaping a house fire as an adolescent boy, and was left without vision in one eye and precious little sight in the other. And yet, he continued his studies, honing his ear for detail and perfecting his memory. He finished high school in President Harry Truman's hometown, Independence, Missouri and went on to graduate from Cleveland Chiropractoc College in Kansas City, MO.
With the help of a dear cousin, Dirk Tousley (owner of White Dove Publishing in Los Angeles, CA) and a school chum, Dr. Gordon Heuser, Rolla completed his degree and opened a fine chiropractic clinic in Independence, MO. Soon, his office manager, a fiery redhead named Ila Calton, had captured Rolla's heart while secretly bankrolling his increased income into a massive nest egg.
When Rolla, Gordon and Ila opened their consulting business, Clinic Masters, Inc., it was the first of many amazing endeavors to motivate, educate and demonstrate how to combine the heartfelt desire to help people feel healthy while assuring the doctor and staff a more than substantial increase. This attention to the altruistic side of the healing professions as well as the monetary rewards is what set Clinic Masters aside from the rest of the get-rich-quick schemes of the 1970's and '80s.
When I proved my worth as a verbal sparring partner to Rolla's quick wit, I was rapidly promoted to eventually become Personal Assistant to the President. We often started our day with what seemed like a battle of wits to others but was just a warm-up for two genuine wordsmiths, like us. Rolla would quiz me on the latest news stories and challenge me to validate my acceptance of the reported factoids of the morning news programs. One of my daily tasks was to glean topics of interest for Rolla's razor-sharp mind from newspapers across the globe. This was a real chore before the internet!
Many times I would be summoned to Rolla's office to see him, coke-bottle-thick eyeglasses in one hand, the other holding a newspaper up to his one good eye, as he would read off the words that were within one inch of his nose.
"What d'ya make of this?" he'd bellow across the plush office lined with library shelves stocked to bulging.
"Well, since I'm not clairvoyant today, I guess you'd better let me read it, huh?" I'd quip back.
Laughing like parent and child, Rolla would toss the paper at me and in the guise of catching up, I'd read it aloud and pause for his editorial comments.
Yes, Rolla taught me to question the obvious, trust my gut and work my ass off for the things I personally believe are worthwhile.
Thank you, Dr. Pennell.