Posted by: nedpelger | October 11, 2009

Manspaces and the Men who Make them

We had dinner with Randy and Dee Miller in Lititz last night and saw an amazing Manspace. Randy’s back story is about as impressive as it gets. Coming from a poor family with a Mom who had never been able to attend school, Randy started working at 9 years old. By 11 years old he had developed a shoe shine business and was renting a small shoe shine shop on Main Street. Besides shining the shoes of passersby, he also had most of the town’s doctors let him into their houses on a Saturday afternoon to keep their shoes shined as well.

Randy endured a serious of tragedies that go beyond the scope of this post. Let’s just say that Job and Randy could talk. Like Job, Randy persevered and prospered. Eventually he saw a niche in delivering water softener salt directly to people’s houses and built a strong business from that concept. At 73, Randy has retired from that business but kept his love of Lititz.

He’s collected Lititz memorabilia for decades. He took the basement of his beautiful home and created a Lititz Museum that simply delights. He has part of the old Lititz bowling lanes (along with the neon sign), an exact replica of his old shoe shine stand, and all kinds of working toys and mementos from times gone by. He created a Manspace around his passions and adds to it regularly.

To learn more about this fun concept of Manspaces, watch the following short TED video:

Do you have a Manspace? What would you build if you could? I’m thinking about a bunch of limestone piles in a circular wall around a tree in the woods behind my house. I’m not sure why…


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