How Arnold Palmer and I saved the 1973 US Open

How Arnold Palmer and I saved the 1973 US Open

How Arnold Palmer and I saved the 1973 US Open is a True Story. It’s a Great Story of meeting my Childhood Hero and Introducing Him to My Dad,, my true hero.

How Arnold Palmer and I saved the 1973 US Open

On the morning of June 17, 1973, my father wakes me up, an hour before dawn. He needs me to go with him to a job site. This was not unusual for my father to take me with him to a job site on Sunday Mornings.

My father made sure the Construction Equipment was in working order for our family-owned Dan Sciullo Construction Company.  From Easter through Thanksgiving we worked. Winters were long and cold. Even though I was only 12 years old I was able-bodied enough to help my dad and shorten his workday.

After a quick stop to “The Yard” in Blawnox to pick up the “Good” pickup, off we went. In no time at all, we pulled up to the Security Gate at Oakmont Country Club. The Security Guard welcomed my Dad as if he were an old friend. “Thank God you’re here Big Jim”, gleamed the Security Guard.

The story really starts on Saturday night when the heavens opened and the rains poured. The course was waterlogged.

Later that night, while the Pro’s slept,

Later that night, while the Pro’s slept, the sprinkler system, installed partially by my family’s construction company, soaked an already partially flooded golf course. 

Walking to the Green on the Finishing 18th Hole the General Motors Corporation built an artificial lake complete with a Red 1974 Cadillac Coupe de Ville revolving on a platform.

As the waters from the rains and the sprinkler system raised the water level in the lake. Only one man could deliver the solution the Officials from The PGA, Oakmont, and General Motors needed, it was my Dad.

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Creativity Dry Spell A Way Through

Creativity Dry Spell

When we think of creativity we picture an artist stroking the canvas with color, a musician playing incessantly with her instrument, almost gliding from cord to cord and tune to tune. We might think of a sculpture drench in the residue of material that has been chipped off his piece. I think of the writer, sitting in his studio or library, busy typing away wonderful and unseen worlds, chatting with mysterious characters and laughing mischievously at the wit of their conversations.

But are those images a true representation of the creative experience? Are all artists struck by genius on a moments’ notice? Is what they produce from these outbursts worth a noble prize, a full house concert at Carnegie Hall or a permanent exhibition at MoMa? Not really. Not at all.

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3 Critical Elements Every Story Needs

3 Critical Elements

Every fiction story-no matter the genre-must contain the essential elements of good story-telling. These elements are timeless and easy to identify so that your story will appeal to and satisfy your reader. There are three critical elements: Goal, Motivation, & Conflict.

Characters have GOALS they are motivated to accomplish.

Their MOTIVATIONS fall into one or more of three categories: money, love or revenge. Around these goals and motivations swirls conflict. Your character wants to acheive a goal and is motivated to get it, but something stands in his way.  And just when he thinks he’s close to reaching his goal something greater stands in his way.

Without conflict, there is no story.

Who wants to read a story about a guy who got up in the morning, shaved, took the bus to work, came home, ate dinner, watched TV and went to bed? Daily conflicts that happen will shape and question the outcome of a story. You want your reader to think, “OMG, how will she overcome that?”

Conflict has also been referred to as “the hero’s journey.” The story of the hero on a quest, facing danger and adversity along the way, is timeless.

There are three different kinds of conflict: inner conflict, personal conflict between people, and  a universal conflict, that is, conflict between you and everyone else.  Does your story contain one-or more-of these three kinds of conflict?

New York literary agent Donald Maass, wrote Writing the Breakout Novel, has described conflict as, “Someone wants something, and there’s an obstacle.” In one of his workshops he emphasized that he wants to see “conflict on every page.” He said, “It’s the single most important thing you can do to take your novel to break-out level.”

The obstacle in your conflict can be as simple as your protagonist looks forward to dining in his favorite restaurant and finds it closed, or as complicated as your protagonist having to choose between saving the life of his mother or the life of his child. In your story, are the hero’s goal, motivation, and the conflict he faces clear?

Great conflict can happen when two of your main characters want opposite things. They both can’t win. Will one win, or will there be a compromise? If you want to know more about this subject I suggest Donald Maass’ book and Story, by Robert McKee. These books should be on every fiction writer’s bookshelf.

The next time you take pen to paper think “Conflict”.  If you find this article helpful please share it on facebook or twitter with your friends.

Write, Engage & Delight


Learn To Write, Engage & Delight

Sign up for a Free WordPress Website at and learn how easy it is to Write, Engage & Delight with a WordPress Blog.

Getting people to your website should just be a natural part in all the content you put out on your blog. Wherever you put your blog content, you should always include a link back to your website for some free offer that is associated with our post.

Content types may change, but the value you get from content doesn’t change. Spend time creating the perfect content and soon you will realize the full value of what you have written, and where you have placed it.

Let’s Talk About How To Write

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Write Conversationally: Tips to Engage and Delight


Write Conversationally Tips

At school, we learned grammar rules. We learned how to write and spell, but we didn’t learn how to use language to connect with our readers. We didn’t learn how to engage, persuade, and inspire.

But readers crave a human touch.

When we read conversational content, we instantly feel a connection with the writer. We feel like we’re getting to know him. We start to like him.

As content marketers, we know this is our aim. When readers get to know, like, and trust us, we create opportunities to market our services and sell our products. We know we need to write conversationally, but how?

You might think writing in a conversational style requires recording yourself talking and typing out what you said. But have you ever seen a word-for-word transcript of an interview?

It’s full of wishy-washy words, grammar mistakes, and unfinished sentences. People rarely speak proper English when they talk. That’s normal.

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