About Jack and Deanna Mace

I was a kid who felt left out. Not until I was thirty-five did I meet a Leader whom I knew truly accepted me – Arapahoe Chief Art Sutton, now deceased.  Although I’m not Native American, he is the only leader I ever looked to as a hero.

Before Art I tried to trust leaders, but I couldn’t understand them or know if they understood me. How then could I follow them? Should I become someone else to be more than their project? One high-school teacher constantly held up others I barely knew of or just didn’t trust as my examples. Her message seemed, “Be yourself. Imitate Charlie.”

Was I rebellious? No, I felt locked out, and the leaders I knew seemed to care more for their “enterprises” than for me or my place with them.

Slowly, I carved out a place of self-respect and comfort in society. I learned from books but mostly from experience and I’ve become both reluctant Follower and committed Leader; often both in the same moment.

In my youth I learned of Oklahoman Will Rogers’ comment, “I never met a man I didn’t like.” I have tried to live that same attitude. Now I find equal pleasure in knowing both “prince” and “pauper.”

Finally I feel like a leader in my own right; most recently chairing election candidate selection for my local party.

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Deanna is the financial wizard of our life together. We don’t have a lot, and we have never even tried to make a killing in “the markets.” Still, we live better than most at our income level, and that’s mostly to be laid to the fact that we have no debt service on our house or on our cars. Every bill is paid promptly, and no credit card balance is carried past the next payment-due date.

She was “the mature half” of a half-teenage marriage. She was 20, and I was 19. Life hasn’t always been easy for us; perhaps most especially for her. We didn’t get this far by throwing in the towel when things got rough. We honored our marriage vows as though it was the only opportunity we would ever have to make them. We honored our vows to God, but more importantly before we did that, we each honored a commitment to our own selves, individually, that “I will not fail.”

We have raised two sons, now in their mid 40’s, and we are very proud of them both. Deanna especially enjoys sharing gardening tips with them and making sure that, among other things, they have the tomato plants they need. Our youngest has his own home and plenty of room for a garden. The eldest lives in an apartment house where all he can have is one tomato plant in a bucket on his front porch Landing.

With God’s blessing Deanna and I will enjoy many more years together.

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