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  • Gig Harbor men, three decades apart

“Tips” Of Encouragement

“Timely advice is as lovely as gold apples in a silver basket.” -Ancient Proverb

W hat happened when a local, 72-year-old, Air Force Veteran serendipitously partnered with the early-40s radio station manager for Gig Harbor’s own KGHP FM?

Something beautiful.

At first blush, an association between burly Spencer Abersold — a passionate music fan — and stately Ed Brook—a former executive and business owner — may have seemed unlikely. However, both share a powerful tie that binds — a heart for others.

Among many duties, Abersold selflessly helps area boys and girls receive initial experience in broadcasting. And Brook? He inspires folks to follow their greatest ambitions — a calling that came to him in 2013.

While recovering from surgery Brook realized, “When I worked for a living, I never made time to help others, due to the fact that I was so focused on achieving the goals that my wife, Kay, and I had set.”

That changed on a hospital bed. Suddenly, he felt led to electronically inspire his grandchildren, extended family and a diverse group of lifelong friends. The vision became clear: Brook would write Tips of the Day to “encourage them to live their dreams.”

As he began to send out these reflections, a following erupted. Soon requests poured in for more pearls of wisdom; heads of companies even forwarded the life lessons to their employees. Within a year Brook felt led to pitch the concept to KGHP.

Brook recalls Abersold’s response to his initial plug, “He told me that he had been waiting years for someone to come in” with something of this type.

Abersold explains that, more than a decade after becoming manager, “I instantly saw the brilliance in Ed’s tips and asked him to record and broadcast his messages from our studio.”

An enduring friendship was born — one that continues as Brook’s daily advice fills KGHP’s airwaves at 9am, 1pm, and 4pm.

Abersold gushes, “I like the simplicity, truth, intellect, universality and feeling of empowerment I get from listening to each message ... they provide an insight into the human condition that allows the audience to learn and grow, strengthen and harness power and find fulfillment.”

The soul-filling story doesn’t end there. In time, each piece of fatherly advice became a book titled, “Ed’s 101 Tips of the Day.” With the confidence of Abersold behind him, Brook had the courage to approach other broadcasters.

Ed ultimately met with Fishnet Syndication in Texas. Their experts helped him to transform the tidbits into succinct, marketable, 60-second spots.

A mere 24 hours after Fishnet’s first promotions went out, a radio station in Pennsylvania picked up Brook’s work!

Now, roughly three years removed from the post-surgical, “a-ha” moment that provided his new direction, Brook’s words influence a growing audience while still impacting men like Abersold. Spencer recently shared his favorite “Ed-isms.”

“‘Why wait for your boat to come in, when you can jump in and swim out to it, and it will get there that much faster?’ and ‘Everybody knows that Babe Ruth was the homerun king, but very few know that he was also the strike out king.’”

Since Brook’s pearls have already reached into the hearts of many, a natural question might be, “What keeps this project going?”

Brook’s own words beautifully respond,

“Everyone wants inspiration. Everyone wants to read about how good they can be. Everyone wants to know ‘anything is possible’ in this wonderful country called America.”

I can vouch for this. I recently had coffee with a middle-aged friend who lost his business and very nearly ended his marriage. As I tried to encourage my friend, I found myself quoting Brook’s story.

“Hey man,” I offered, “I’ve been working on a piece about this retired fella from Gig Harbor. Though he had been a great success in the world’s eyes, he had a personal awakening in his 70s, after surgery brought him low.”

My friend leaned forward, paper cup of java in hand, and listened. Did I see hope in his eyes?

I added, “Over the past three years, Ed started the next great act of his life—investing in people. He wrote a book. Now he’s on the radio.”

A half-smile crept to the corner of my buddy’s mouth. His eyes sparkled.

“And, that is what you are doing. You just completed the first part of training for your new career. And you’re cherishing your family anew. I respect you so much! The next chapter of your life’s story?”

He leaned in as I answered my own query, “It’s going to be the best one yet.”

In that very moment I realized that I wasn’t just talking to him. I was preaching to myself.

I thought about the painful, yet hope-filled book I’d been writing, off and on. Brook helped inspire me to finish it. As such, I believe that I was meant to interview Brook and Abersold. They have courageously pursued their mission to bless people. Many have been inspired by their stories. Even my buddy. Even me.

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