Monday, December 1, 2014


It's a little premature but here it is December, the last month of a year that has not just flown , but jetted bye. I was jotting things onto my desk calendar and it seems just like yesterday that I went to Staples and purchased it.

I'm here at Hendrick Toyota still selling New and Used cars and still loving what I'm doing, tho the hours are still a little too much. If I'm not here I miss the opportunity to meet and help guests looking for a vehicle. Normally, in the car business, December is one of the best months for sales, so it's up to me to get my share. We now have 30 salespeople so our internal competition is a little tougher. If both of my readers know of anyone in the market, please remember me.

I've just had cataract surgery on one of my eyes and will do the other next week. I knew something was wrong when I found myself continually cleaning my glasses, and they weren't dirty. Everything is so much brighter with my new lens, and when we're done with both eyes I should be able to go without glasses except to read small print or use the computer. It's so amazing that the surgery is absolutely painless, takes about one and a half hours and you're out the door.

My grandson Brad, who now lives in Grayslake, Ill. just north of Chicago came in for the holidays with his wife Tanya and 3 of my great grandchildren. It was so great seeing them even though it was only for a few hours. 

Brad who will soon be 36 is the one I'm holding in my arms, check out my tan. I can't get over how the family is increasing, 12 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren and a 10th appearing in March. I am truly blessed.

 The Royals are over after a great season, KU Basketball has started and the Chiefs are trying their best to play themselves out of the playoffs. 

The cold weather we're experiencing now is especially hard on the old part of my body, which is everything on the outside of the skin. It enhances my FFA. At the end of January we'll be heading for our annual trip to our friend Irene's beautiful home on the east coast of  Florida at Singer Island. It's my recharging station so I can keep on going and going.

It's taken about 3 years and I'm getting referrals from previous customers and friends almost on a weekly basis. It is great when a person calls in and makes an appointment, it usually means that they're ready to buy. If the Chiefs would have won yesterday, we would have Happy people coming in today. I remember when Normie and I were in the photo business and the Chiefs would win, everyone was ia great mood.

I've mentioned my wife quite a few times in previous blogs and I can't keep from telling everyone how truly wonderful a person she truly is. She's always there when the kids need a sitter or someone to pick up their kids at school and she insists on taking each birthday child on their birthdays for their special grandma day. But I'm the real winner, not only is she my best friend, the person I love more than anything else but she's the person that I fall asleep with every night on our couch watching television. She is the wife that will not eat supper until I get home, sometimes after 9pm.

My sister Elaine, has moved again, this time to L.A. to be close to her daughters and grandchildren. My sis is really something else. She probably has more Facebook and Twitter friends than anybody I know as witnessed by her latest book signing. It looked like there was close to a hundred people in attendance. Jill Soloway, her daughter, has ten episodes of her Amazon show TRANSPARENT available for viewing and she has already started the second season that Amazon has ordered. 

The sales of my memoir "Making Happy" continue to surprise me as mouth to mouth has created new readers. I'm always happy when I receive a check from Amazon, regardless of the amount.

Until next time, stay well and keep smiling.

Sunday, September 28, 2014


      The brain is a wonderful organ. I wish I had a button to press each morning, ie; Press "A" for getting up, press"B" to remember what you've planned to do, press "C" for smiling, Press "D" to overcome any negatives you may encounter, Press "E" to ensure I sell my first "UP" (customer) of the day, Press "F" for all of the above.

There also should be a magic button to press so you can leave all negatives at work and not bring them home, something I've had trouble doing. Forget any shit that happened during the day. There are those customers that come in the door with a negative attitude, even before they're greeted and stay that way all through their visit. Train your brain to get rid of those people, it's hard to master that function. Don't let those few stay in your head.

Thankfully over 90% of our clients are very nice people. Those are the people that actually need help in making a car buying decision. Those that claim to know everything are the hardest to deal with, their aim is to prove you wrong.

Back to my wonderful organ, yes, I mean the brain, what else would I be writing about? On most days I would press buttons A and B and follow up with my other buttons as the day progressed.

Normally at this time of year our local sports teams take the forefront of the news. The Chiefs, college football and the end of the season for the KC Royals. Not this year, Royals baseball is on everybody's mind (brain). They're in the playoffs for the first time in 29 years and if they win their next game on Tuesday they can go further.

The Chiefs are on Monday Night Football and the whole country (football fans) will be watching Arrowhead Stadium instead of Castle. I hope that I'm home in time to watch.

My brain has been taxed the last month or so due to a new video system that records five shows at once unless you're watching one, then it's only four. That part is great, however, I can't say the same about the rest of the system. Our internet service has been very spotty at times and also non existent. Our phones are finally working but our fax machine doesn't work at all. But, my biggest problem causing major brain aches is that my PIP is not available. Can you believe, a NEW system and no PIP. How can something supposedly the latest in equipment, have no PIP? They also cannot provide any instructions for the new box or the remote, that is different from the previous unit.

My brain just chimed in and told me to relax, stop being a cry baby over trivial stuff. There's so much crap going on in the world and I'm bitching about the inconvenience of my TV reception. Shame on me.

My niece Jill Soloway's show TRANSPARENT premiered on Amazon Prime this week, check it out since I can't get that either.

I'm telling my brain to stop so I can go to sleeeeep. zzzzz

Thursday, June 26, 2014


When you hear the words "Too Much", what comes to mind? Too much of what: too much food, too much car, too much noise, too much crap, too much sun?

Is there actually ever too much of anything? I think so. I always attempt to do too much. I go overboard to make people smile and in the selling arena, I try to make my clients like me. I believe that most do like me, whether they purchase a car or not, they usually leave having had a good experience.

When a client comes in and wants a vehicle that doesn't fit their budget, it may be too much car. We try to find them the right car that they can comfortably afford. Or, in some cases a very large (heavy) or tall person may be trying to buy something that they can't fit in.

When can too much be too much? You have to know when to shut up when you've talked too much, or if you constantly smile, you have to know when to turn it off before it becomes unreal. 

Many people love to talk and no matter how hard you try to end the conversation they keep extending it by asking totally unrelated questions.

Some people do not have friends to talk to and when they come in, they don't want to leave, thankfully those people are in the minority. Most people want to get in and out in record time.

It always amazes me when a person comes in to buy a car and they tell me they only have 15  or 30 minutes to spend. Can't be done folks. 

Over the years I've taught my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to use the phrase when I ask them, "who loves you?" Their response is "you do", I then ask how much, and the correct answer is "too much". This always gets a big smile from yours truly.

I use the phrase every single night as my wife and I go to bed. After our good night kiss we both say "TOO MUCH". nothing else need be said. During our 30 years together, we haven't missed a night.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I speak from experience. I can't believe how old I actually am and all of the places I've been and all of things I've done.

I can't believe that my wife Norma and I are celebrating our 30th anniversary. Where have the years gone? We've been together three decades, doesn't sound so long when you say it like that, until you compare it to the Gettysburg Address when President Lincoln also mentions decades.

Our family has grown during those years and now includes 11 grand children and 9 great grand children, from all our intertwined families.

To say our life together has been good is definetly an understatement, it's better than fantastic, whatever that word might be. We have quite a large group of friends that still hang out together including our Wednesday night dinner group that started over 20 some years ago. We've lost some close friends over the years but the spouses are still part of our group.

We still have our KC Chiefs football group that meets during all Chiefs away games and end the season with a great dinner. Laughter and togetherness is our motto. I always have a great time at these functions even if the Chiefs lose, but not always true.

I just celebrated my 3rd year with Hendrick Toyota and it is indeed a celebration. The people I work with (95%) are great and a pleasure to be around. I remember the day I was hired, seems like only a few months ago, but as it is said, time flies when you're having fun. I call it a celebration because I'm still upright and able to work although I have to cut down on hours so I can continue to work.

This is my 154th blog that I've written over the last 7 years. I've gotten lazier over time and don't write as often as in previous years but when I do, I feel a certain saisfaction that my mind is still functioning, albeit a little slower but still there.

My memoir, "Making Happy" was published 5 years ago this month and those that have read it still call or e-mail me with their reactions. Most can't believe that it's a true story. My second book is taking a little longer then originally planned but hopefully I'll finish before the end of this year.

So what I planned on saying is "Don't wait until tomorrow, do it now, before you know it, tomorrow will be yesterday.

My day is successful when I get someone to smile at least once a day. I hope your day is full of many smiles.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014


It was my birthday yesterday and I received over 105 greetings from all over the country, yes I counted. I didn't realize that so many people were either on my Facebook or e-mail pages until my phone started binging all thru the day.

It started when I woke up and my wife gave me a big birthday kiss. She always kisses me in the morning but this kiss was special. She had never kissed a 79 year old man on the lips before, I was the first.

When I got to work and attended our Saturday morning meeting I was surprised and pleased that my manager Brad mentioned my birthday to the whole staff and wished me a Happy day. My honey had also baked a sugar free cake that I brought to work and as usual it tasted great.

The weather was nice and it was a good day to be outside, enjoy the sun and naturally I wore a hat (you hear that honey).

About 2 o'clock I saw a couple get out of a Sequoia and walk toward the back of the lot where a few new Highlanders were parked. The new Highlanders have become our hot new car of the year and are being sold as if they were free. The last time I experienced these types of sales was when gas went up to $4.oo + a gallon and the Prius' were flowing out the door.

When the new Rav 4s came out, same thing, on the lot, out the door. Back to the couple. "Hi my name is Ron, Welcome to Hendricks Toyota and your name is?" "We're not here to buy, we just drove bye and thought we would stop and look at the new Highlander."

The young man said he would like to drive the Hybrid and gas model to see what the difference might be. I retrieved the keys for two of the cars and we went for a test drive. After driving both they decided on the gas model and they loved the one they were in since it had an entertainment unit.

"Why don't you come inside and let me give you some numbers in case you change your mind and decide to buy." "As we said, we're just looking, we won't be ready for a few months." "That's fine" I said. "It will only take a few minutes and you can see if our numbers are close enough for you to purchase
since you like the vehicle we were in and there's no obligation."

They agreed and told me they had the time. They lived in a small town about 50 miles from us and came in looking for things for the home they're remodeling, and not a car.

While we were waiting for the paperwork to come back from the tower they told me that if our numbers were OK and the rate, they might re consider.
When the buyers sheet came back they both said, "It looks OK but we're going to go home and think about it." When people decide to leave we have one of our managers come over to do an exit TO, thanking them for coming in and if they had any questions concerning the car or my presentation.

As they were walking back to their car, the woman wished me a Happy Birthday since they heard people saying it to me while they were at my desk.
"How would you like to make this a very special birthday by purchasing this car today" I said jokingly. They looked at each other and said to me, "if you can get the numbers closer to what we want to pay and give me a better rate than my bank, you've got a sale."

To make the story come to an end, they bought the car. While he was in the restroom, she tells me, "Ron, the reason we came back in is because you impressed us with your knowledge of the car, your sense of humor and more than anything, the feeling of trust. I can't tell you how that made me feel, yes I can, it made feel great. I had not only done my job but I had made some new friends.

So you never know, it's always possible to turn a negative into a positive.
It turned out to be a great Birthday.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014


I'm repeating this older blog because a few of my readers asked me to re-post because they heard about it but never saw it, so that's why it's here again.

About six months ago I needed a fast lunch so I went to the closest McDonald's and got into the drive thru lane.

I was behind one of those old big Lincoln Continentals that had an older couple occupying the two front seats. I was pretty sure of their age group because all I could see were hands on top of the steering wheel but no heads.

They had pulled up to the trash container that has a long snout pointing toward the customers car window. I watched as the elderly lady driving, leaned out the window and was screaming into the opening of the trash container giving her order.

I started laughing uncontrollably while this "you tube" moment was happening in front of me. I was about to get out of the car to explain that she had to move up to the speakers. Before I could exit my car, her passenger car opened and I presume, her husband, walked around the back of the car to hopefully help his wife. This created another non stop laughing  jag that I was unable to control. I was afraid that I would have a wet spot in my seat at any moment. He was screaming even louder and when no answer was forthcoming, he started yelling into the opening. "Are you closed, is there anybody willing to help us?"

I was finally able to stop laughing enough to get out of my car and try to help. People behind me were honking and screaming to get out of line.  I gave that person the finger while still trying to stifle my smile, I walked up to the old man and explained that he was not at the order speaker. He stood there for a moment staring at me as if I was nuts and then started screaming at his wife, telling her how stupid she was. I tried calming him down but he continued his yelling.

He finally got back in the car and they pulled forward to the speaker. The old lady spoke into the speaker but did not place an order. She said something to the employee and they just pulled out of line and drove off, probably from embarrassment.

When I pulled up to place my order I could hear the employee talking to others asking them what she did wrong because the woman had told her how bad their service was and they were never coming back. I told the employee what happened and I heard the whole place start to laugh.

It was nice that we all had a good laugh at some one else's expense but I thought to myself " I'm almost their age and that could've been me" Na, no way, but you never know.

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Sunday, May 11, 2014


I call it a game because it's something I enjoy. I'm fortunate to be able to play my game as part of my job of selling cars for Hendrick Toyota of Merriam.

Before going ahead, I want both of you that read my blog to think of somebody, family or friend, that may need a vehicle and send them my way.

Guessing my age is the game I speak of. I was blessed with my Mother's European heritage of looking younger than my actual age of 79 that happens this month.

As I try to form a relationship with my clients  and find out a little about them, the age thing comes up and when I tell someone, especially with white hair, that I'm older than them and they answer with "no way", the game begins.

Ninety percent of the time, I'm right, because I cheat a little. I've seen their drivers license. Some even attempt to bet me, which I never accept. It does create a sort of relaxed atmosphere and sometimes those people that may have come in with a negative posture about car salesmen, seem to become comfortable with an old man.

Once I get them smiling or laughing at one of  my corny jokes the selling process becomes a little more fun than one of combativeness. That's not to say they accept the first proposal but I believe any negative feelings they had when first coming in, disappears.

 Yes, I enjoy my job of selling cars, but what I enjoy more than anything else, is the ability to make people smile, everyday of my life, as directed by my conversation with the Almighty while backpacking in the Smoky Mountains, many years ago.

Not all of my clients purchase a vehicle from me but I know that those that do maintain a relationship with me and those that go elsewhere still call me to say how much they enjoyed working with me and actually apologize for going elsewhere. 

I always thank them for the call, but after hanging up, I chastize them under my breath. I guess they believe they're making me feel better by calling. They don't see me crying into a tissue.

This blog is short and not very informative but I'll try to do better in the coming months.

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Sunday, March 16, 2014


Every year for the last 10 or so my wife and I go to Florida and stay with our good friend that has the most beautiful condo located on Singer Island. Her home is on the 14th floor overlooking the ocean.

As you enter her place you're greeted by this awesome site of the ocean thru an open design that almost feels like you're on the ocean itself. As you gaze out you can see the fishing and sailing boats, schools of fish including sharks as they pass through the area looking for their daily feeding, no, not humans.

This is our 30th year of marriage so my wife and I decided to include a 5 day Caribbean Cruise to celebrate. We had 5 in our group aboard the Royal Caribbean ship Liberty of the Sea.

Our cabin included a balcony that we opened to include the two adjoining rooms where we had our morning coffee while enjoying the gentle breezes and sunrise on the ocean horizon.

My vitamin D intake colored my body so as to recharge all my included batteries for the next few months. We visited a few islands and took a 2 hour boat trip on one of those stops that was probably the highlight of our trip. It was a great smooth ride on a bright breezy day, the kind of day where the rest of the world is somewhere else.

After returning to the condo we spent the next few days shopping and eating but not always in that order. Returning home I weighed myself expecting a sizeable gain but to my pleasant surprise, I returned at the same weight as before we left. 

On my return to work at Hendrick Toyota I was greeted by all with a very happy that I was back and how good I looked. My tan was very evident and a few months later still there.

Going back to work after such a great time was easy to do and proved to be a great month for me as far as sales are concerned. I worked the remaining 2 1/2 weeks at a RAPID pace that rewarded me with enough sales to get me into the bonus area.

As I've mentioned in previous blogs, my reputation with clients has always been a pleasant relationship and for the majority of time, having fun while making a sale. It's pretty easy to do when selling a great product.

Our GM that we've had for many years decided to go back to his roots in Minnesota and has been replaced by a man with a different but overly friendly personality. I truly believe he's going to build our store into a showplace in the Hendrick organization. In fact, all of the tower managers are intent on helping make those sales that we need to become and stay number one. We've been given the tools we just have to use them.

The weather is finally starting to turn nice enough to spend more time out on the lot without my nipples getting hard. When the sun is out and if KU wins a game, most of our customers, regardless of age, are in a good mood. I really believe the economy is getting better by the crowds we have in our store and by the amount that actually purchase a car. 

My website "" will soon be up and running again but until then, you can log into, type in Making Happy by Ron Shapiro and read a few pages of my memoir.

Until next time, have a great day, stay well and keep smiling.