Gifts by the Side of the Road
by John Wayne "Jack" Schlatter
John Wayne "Jack" Schlatter, author of some of the most beloved stories in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, now comes forth with his own collection of inspirational writings. Sharing lessons, insights, and humor gathered over 35 years in the classroom and as a member of one of the most amazing families in America, he will touch your heart, tickle your funny bone, and enrich your wisdom.
Three of his stories have had a tremendous impact on the American culture. I Am a Teacher is one of the most widely read and reprinted tributes of the last ten years. The Simple Gesture has been known to save lives and form new friendships and has been rewritten and retold throughout the nation. The Magic Pebbles received a great compliment from Jack Canfield, coauthor of the Chicken Soup series. Asked by Modern Woodman magazine to choose the "single" story which meant the most to him, he named The Magic Pebbles.
Inspired by Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, whose dreams "woke him up," Mr. Schlatter has become aware of the countless gifts left by the side of the road of life. In this book he shares his discoveries.
"Jack Schlatter's class was like a place from Camelot, some place mystical, where your imagination counted, where it could soar... His writings will help the reader discover their kingdom within."
-Maura Conion-McIvor, Author of the best-selling FBI Girl, How I Learned to Crack My Father's Code
"Those students fortunate enough to have had Jack Schlatter as a teacher have been inspired for life. His lessons, speeches, and writings have led countless students to discover their own inner genius. He is the most effective teacher I have ever known."
-Jim Cross, Ed. D., Former Finalist California Teacher of the Year
"I particularly love that last line of I AM A CHILD ADVOCATE , "We are all - therefore - today's courageous souls who know in our hearts we have been put here to pave the way to the shortest and safest path to arrive at the desired destination: children living, loving, laughing and playing while enjoying safe, healthy and loving homes.' Whenever I am at my grandkids' home or they come to visit us, I observe their happiness and think to myself, "Despite all my other failures, I know we succeeded at this...' Wouldn't it be a great thing if Jack's hope for all kids came to pass. On this, I am sure we can all agree."
- Jim Coppersmith
"I had the lesson at our Christian Men's (The Wrestlers) breakfast this morning. Coincidentally, I used some excerpts from my old classmate Jack Schlatter's new book Gifts By The Side of The Road - one being his "The Majestic Recipe" (p47) as a spiritual play on physical foods we'd just discussed on the subject of coronary heart disease, and another on his "The Finest Steel Gets Sent Through The Hottest Furnace" (p50) which describes Brother George's bout with polio & other medical issues back in our home state of Missouri in the mid-40s. I tied it in to the name of our group with George's being a top wrestler in school and never giving up no matter what the circumstances."
- Ken (Jack's college roommate)
"Wow! You are the most upbeat person I know - see so much good around you - seem to appreciate most everything, just because... Clearly if anyone could do justice to the premise of 'I Am An Appreciator' it would be you. Let me share with you what I took away from your book. Brace yourself, it may be a little off the wall... First, your title is right on the money ... but I didn't buy right into it. I can't tell you why, but I saw your project as 'The Thank You Book.' I've no idea where that came from or goes to ... perhaps it's because over the years I've learned to say "thank you' when I appreciate something. Maybe it's an ingrained response to God, to people who have enriched our lives ... made living better ... done extraordinary things... At first, I thought of it as a book of short glimpses of life much like 'Gifts By The Side Of The Road.' Thematically, it's well suited to that ... and I still see it that way. As always, much success with the venture. God bless."
"Jack, I love your new book so much, it has been so uplifting to me already, that I've decide that I am going to open every class with a story from your book, each and every day."
- Jim B, Teacher
"I just wanted to express my feelings about Jack and his book. I think every person should have a copy of this book on their bedside table for a last thought at night or a first thought in the morning. I would have loved this book if I had never met the author, but I have had the immense pleasure of watching Jack give a gift to every person he comes in contact with. The gift that Jack has the ability to help each person he meets the ability to get in touch with their "REAL SELF" the true person inside, even if it is just for a moment. It is his unconditional love for each and every person he has the blessing to come into contact with that allows those people to also see and feel themselves as Jack sees them, as a beautiful creation, worthy of the best that this world has to offer, to be acknowledged for who they really are, if only for the moment. I have seen the light come to their eyes. Jack is at his best with young people, just a touch of JACK goes a long way in helping them know their real value. I think Jack's greatest gift is his ability to see beyond exterior behavior to the pure essence of every one he comes in contact with and more so helps them to see it also. His gift for putting in words what most of us only feel when we are in our deepest self is one of the most amazing talents I have witnessed. It has been one of the great pleasures in my life to have known him personally and through his works and would want to share that experience with as many people as possible."
- Ann Friedly
"Hello Mr. Schlatter,
"I just had to write and tell you how much your book Gifts by the Side of the Road has meant to me and my husband. He has serious dementia problems, but each day he enjoys me reading to him from your book. Always I am in tears, because each story affects me so much, and I can just hear in my head your voice telling the stories to me. Because he doesn't remember much past 5 minutes, each time I read is like a new story. Ralph has difficulty talking, but he definitely is in the moment reacting to what we say, and to the stories.
"You and Leo Buscaglia have been such inspirations to me. I was privileged to know him personally too. Keep in touch when you can, and know that our "kids" love you so much. Ralph Jr. is here now the prodigal son has returned and such a help to me, at this time, with my husband, and Ralph Jr. keeps him active, me too, and he remains stable cause of that.
"How complete your life must be, with the joy and tenderness and love you have given and allowed our children, Robin, Ralph and Renee to realize early in their lives as their teacher. I shall be eternally grateful to you for all you have given to us. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We sure do love you!!!!!!"
- Rose Ann and Ralph Johnson and family. Happy New Year!!