“The WIZARD of COMMON CENTS” by Earl Littman
Recommended by Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty
Every morning when I awake I immediately retrieve the daily newspaper and quickly turn to the Obituaries. When I see my name isn’t there I get dressed and go to work. At the age of 87 one wonders when the hands of time will stop as no man has the power to tell. It gives you pause to wonder, contemplate and think as to what should be my goals and hopes for the future as the clock may soon be still.
What will my children, grand children and great grandchildren ever think or know about my unusual life? I sat down to write a memoir and as I progressed I realized I had a unique perspective that needs to be told as soon there will be very few WW 2 living veterans to report what they have observed and watched how life in America has radically changed.
There is no greater blessing than to have chosen a professional career which allowed my innate talents to blossom in the vine yards of advertising, marketing and public relations. From the most humble beginnings our team was able to build one of the largest and most successful ad agencies in the Southwest. Honors and awards were numerous. I was proudest to be the first Houston advertising agency person elected into the initial class of the “Southwest Advertising Hall of Fame.” I finished graduating from N.Y.U. in 1948 totally paid for by the G.I. Bill
Throughout all those hectic years of trying to build a career I was too busy to pay proper attention to some of the most important things going on across the globe. America was fighting in distant lands and young men and women were risking their lives to keep us safe and free to pursue our hopes of freedom, liberty and happiness. I observed a different attitude than when our troops came home after WW2.
Yes, we would reach out to shake the hand of a returning veteran to thank them for their service, yet there was something important missing which was hidden under a blanket of apathy, disinterest and complacency for our brave military veterans and their families. It didn’t take much to remember the embrace of not only the spoken gratitude to the World War 2 veterans, but the positive ACTION the government and every American contributed to help make the transaction from military life to becoming a civilian easier, smoother and welcoming. We won the great war against our enemies, and we also won the war against letting our economy falter; against bi-partisanship; against brother fighting brother so that nobody comes out a winner.
My advertising agency had been sold over 20 years ago. I was primarily involved in charity work such as serving as the chairman of Houston’s Area Anti-Defamation League fighting discrimination and intolerance; for the D.E.A. I was running the “Drugs Kill” campaign and speaking to three schools daily and in the evenings talking to the Rotary, Lions, Parent’s Clubs; serving on the board of the Council of Alcohol and Drugs, and the Coalition for Scientific Behavior.
I made it my business to try to learn about the homeless, the hungry, the physically and mentally wounded. I was shocked beyond comprehension that 22 veterans a day were committing suicide; that 26,000 cases a year were military women being twice betrayed by being sexually abused, and not being properly protected by the people over their command. I wonder if it was my ego telling me that I was a recognized big guru in advertising and marketing that has had the military experience, and knows that my blood flows red, white and blue, so why should I sit idly by when I can develop the SOLUTION to the problems plaguing the military.
That is when and why I developed the BACK-OUR-VETS crusade to get all Americans to voluntarily add 2 cents on top of their retail purchases. Common CENTS can make big cents when combined together. With just 150,000 nationwide collection points we would raise $1,050,000 annually using the grass roots POWER-OF-WE-THE-PEOPLE.
During the course of the years from 1927 to 2014 I cover the lifestyle changes when my school desk had a built in ink well through the advances in wireless communication, travel, science, politics and offer my common sense solutions to make people THINK. The foundation of my life are my parents, my beloved wife, our children and their siblings to which I give my devoted thanks. The compass of my being has been tattooed in my soul to honor my family, country, faith and friends. My life may not have been perfect, but I have been blessed to be dedicated and passionate to help our nation’s 65 million troops, veterans and their families. This book is an important arsenal in this warrior’s fierce battle of the CENTury.