Category Archives: Change

Hey, Wait for Me.

Lee in Paradise
Hey, Wait for Me.
By Lee Broom

Originally Posted In
August 14 2013

In the seventies all was good. My children began to marry. Business was great. The first grandchild appeared. And then another and another. My wife had disappeared with the family wealth but by doing so had given me an opportunity to experience freedom for the first time in my adult life. Becoming a purposefully sober person, also for the first time in my adult life, made it possible to experience this freedom in a way I would never have guessed was possible.

In the eighties I remarried and lost the freedom, lost the business, retired for a year, had a few drinks to feel better, discovered the futility of such a silly choice and returned to sober living. Got a job for a year. Self confidence returned and I began to rebuild my business. During this decade Asian economies boomed, some western economies faltered and the world began to change.

The nineties began with optimism, previously primitive Asian markets grew, enabling countries like South Korea to become first world powers. In North Korea Kim Jong Il, succeeded his father Kim Il Sung, US markets faltered, my own business soared through the first half of this decade and practically fell apart in 1995. I shut down my stores, moved my business from uppity North Scottsdale into low rent quarters in Phoenix, got an evening job and started over.

The new decade began with a stunned Lee Broom working two jobs, running a business and completely oblivious to the problems that the new decade brought to an optimistic America. I lived in an old office, 250 square feet, and questioned nothing. I stayed sober and prayed often.

By the end of this decade I had worked myself out of a short-lived period of poverty, rebuilt my business on credit cards and rediscovered my grandchildren. And their children. The first week of the new Presidential Administration marked the end of Lee Broom Gallery and Design, at least for a few months. I moved from a 2000 foot apartment into smaller but nicer quarters and began to learn new ways to market my wares and my skills.

There is a story woven thorough all this. It is the story of the citizens of the United States of America. In America there are people who will never have anything. This is primarily because they believe this is so. And they may be right. We must care for them and wherever possible help them to move into group two. And there are those who never give up and learn from their mistakes and move on. They do this because this is their reality. These are the people who keep the wheel turning. When a company downsizes those who are released from their careers decide which of these two groups they want to choose as their new reality. Some help reroute success, others know only their loss. During these times of difficulty I have belonged to both groups. There are no dollar signs on the measuring stick that I use to measure success. I have managed to stay in the Successful group more often than not because of another asset that I have not mentioned until now. I tithe. I don’t mean financially because I am not much of a Churchy kind of guy. But as a sober person for more than thirty-five years I have had another occupation which takes up a minimum of ten percent of my time; I make myself useful in the community by helping others. I’ve helped drunks get sober, hungry families get fed, taught oldsters how to use a computer, built a children’s theater, read to the blind and driven old ladies to Church and returned to pick them up when the service is over. Sometimes I even stayed for the service and sang when told to do so.

These activities keep me grateful. And I socialize with others who do the same. Within this group of people I call my friends, are those who are suffering and those who are not. I see people who once ran large corporations presently mowing lawns and cleaning kitchens.

I am 72. I am writing several books at a time and intend to publish this year before my eyes give out. I am learning how to take a business which first relied on retail stores, then upon sales calls and eventually on emails, greeting this new century by learning how to do all of the above and tie it all together with the internet, with social networking, a part-time job and a sense of gratitude to a Higher Power I call Love. I could never have comprehended such joy when I was twenty and driving my long, long convertible with a bottle of whiskey in my left hand, the steering wheel in my right and a very bad attitude. The bad attitude returns occasionally. But not for long.

I love my life and I love living it.



lafayette compound 012

When cell phones became popular so did certain new behaviors. Telephone conversations were traditionally thought of as private activities and as the preference for the convenience of mobile apparatus gained popularity, experiments occurred.

One such common behavior existed in the hallways of large institutions in the corporate beltways of large cities. As one walked down any hall there could be seen dozens of handheld Motorola brick- phones, each one held to an ear, attached to a skull which rested atop a leaning body, with that head resting against the wall as though somehow this was a proven method for oreventing the sound waves from proceeding into the lives of nearby “others”.

A few years later there was a story going around about female college students placing their cell phones in their panties after setting them on vibrate. Cooperative boyfriends  would then call during class. Text? No. Sext? Oh, so that’s where that word came from.

This afternoon I took a break from my Friday docent activities at the Gallery@CityHall. It was cold indoors; I wanted some of that 110 degree heat. Arriving on the patio I looked around for a smoking area, wanting to keep the occupants thereof at a safe distance.

Immediately I spotted a smoker 100 feet away texting in a manner I recognized immediately. The thumb on her left hand was pointed toward Heaven. The next two digits held a ciggie and the fourth finger handled text as her pinkie mimed the usual pinkie behavior that one normally associates with drinking tea from a tiny china cup.

As she pecked away, the ash grew long and eventually fell onto the screen; with a well-practiced “whoosh” from pursed lips she blew the ash away and continued texting, saving the connection without losing a stroke.

I wondered what was so important. Was she answering her lover who always called at this time of day, each of them smoking in a different garden, each of them with a hovering pinky, each of them whooshing fallen ash without missing a stroke.

Three minutes at 110 degrees. That’s enough; back to the gallery.

Lee Broom






It is said that it is easier to break an empty bottle of beer than a sealed one.

It is also said that it is easier to break anything than to fix it, unless that thing is an undesired habit or a relationship.

Is it any consolation to realize that when a thing is made by man, that something was first destroyed?

Whatever we make of ourselves requires raw materials, desire and a whole lotta Love.

Lee Broom



I was six years old. I loved music and had always wished that my singing voice was better. I had never sung in the presence of others but sang by myself whenever I could find a hiding place in which to practice.

On this particular day I was standing with the entire population of all the class rooms from my school. We were assembled in the cafetaurium of Harmony Elementary School. We were being led in the song, America.

I was just sort of humming along and then suddenly I felt a need to hear myself and my voice let loose fo the first time in my life. My eyes were stinging with tears of joy, my chest was quivering and my voice was growing stronger.

My life had  changed.

As I sang, those around me turned to look and before the song had ended Mrs Skinner the music teacher who was leading us, had sent someone to place a microphone near me.

On that day my life changed.

I became the popular lead in the Oklahoma City Boy’s Choir and the First Baptist Church Boy’s Choir and I developed my own piano routines to accompany myself when I played at the children’s shows in the Oklahoma City Parks Department productions and In Dallas and yes, even in New york City and of course at Harmony Elementary.

When I was eleven my voice changed.

When I was eleven my whole life changed.

I learned to improvise and developed my own singing style.

When I was seventeen I became a singing soldier traveling with Gary Crosby. When the show ended  I went home and my life changed.

I raised a family, I built a business and with the help of friends I created a children’s theatre and my life changed .

I became a songwriter and one of my songs became a hit.  In terms of riches and public awareness, the song I Had a Dream was known only to a few but the few who liked it were all celebrity performers and producers and I sang this song at Hollywood parties and Celebrity Country Clubs.

And, my life changed.

I created a radio show which featured two characters ; their names were Vile Villainous Van Vicious and his Nemesis, Robert the Right.

Van and Robert were very funny and the music I created to introduce the show was a huge success; so much so that the intro and the style and everything that made that show successful for eleven years were stolen by a local television station.

My life changed.

My show was canceled and yes, my life changed.

That same day I lost the lease for Lee Broom Gallery in North Scottsdale and again my life changed.

And on that very same day I wrecked my Volvo and my insurance had lapsed and I hardly noticed another life change.

I took a telemarketing job and using the money I earned,  turned my business into a design service and again my life changed.

Today my life is all about change.

I write about change.

I help others to adapt to change and to explore new ideas and new ways of thinking so that when change occurs we don’t have to be short-changed.

By the way, Vile Villainous Van Vicious and his Nemesis, Robert the Right are still around but their lives have changed.

Their names were changed to protect their innocence.

They are know today as Curious Abner and the Psychedelic Toad.













If nothing new is written, the absence is noted by a few.

When reports are polished and gleam with the sheen of community bias

When Leaders are replaced  by the best followers

Growth subsides and are noted by a few.


When discovery is recorded,

When an artist is discovered

When a science project reveals a new idea

When  Huff  reports the remarks of a 118 yr old lady whose wrinkles are attractive

We all feel safer.

And we return to what we were doing minutes before

The previously tight abs

The shallow breathing and the furrowed brow

We relax and accept THE LOVE..

It’s all good says  Dixie

And life goes on.