About Michael Kell

Michael KellMichael is a coffee entrepreneur and sometimes author living with his wife and family in the Pacific Northwest. For more articles like this one, please visit www.wordperk.com featuring stories about small town life.

In Defense of Presidents and Generals – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – May 2017

The North was losing the war to keep the Union. Robert E. Lee, a southern aristocrat, originally asked to lead the Union, chose the side of his beloved Virginia even though his personal belief was slavery to be a moral and political evil. Lee was a […]

By | May 2nd, 2017|Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|0 Comments

Hamlet in the Woods – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – April 2017

Editor’s Note: After learning about a proposed restaurant meals tax, (which the City Council has since axed) Michael served-up his thoughts on the matter…just in case the topic comes up again.

Once upon a time there was a community of neighborly animals living deep in the northwest Woods, far removed […]

By | March 29th, 2017|Cup of Conversation|1 Comment

Oz – by Michael Kell

Cup of Conversation – February 2017

There’s a reason why politics and religion are taboo topics at dinner parties. We can creatively design filters to guard the truth about what we really think but these days all it takes to pre-judge is a slip of the tongue about who we voted for in the last election. […]

By | December 15th, 2016|Cup of Conversation|Comments Off on Oz – by Michael Kell

Frogs and Lawyers – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – December 2016/January 2017

I had to skip a couple articles; my apologies. Along with my very sick wife needing extended out of town medical care, we had an unexpected funeral to attend for her beloved brother and, oh yes, there’s that nasty business of being sued for copyright infringement.

Apparently, a Google […]

By | November 30th, 2016|Cup of Conversation|Comments Off on Frogs and Lawyers – by Michael Kell

Patience is a Virtue – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – August 2016

I lost my patience the other evening. Patience and controlling the tongue are active, not passive. Patience is graduate level virtue not without personal cost and tamed tongues are essential to relationship, respect, and reconciliation.

Mary was out of town so I was dining alone. The restaurant was busy and […]

By | July 26th, 2016|Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on Patience is a Virtue – by Michael Kell

We Know Nothing…Yet – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – July 2016

A couple thousand years ago, a contributing writer to the world’s best-selling book penned, “If any man thinks he knows anything, he knows not yet what he ought to know.” ¹ I think we’re learning that unfettered access to information is inversely proportional to knowing the truth about anything. […]

By | June 29th, 2016|Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on We Know Nothing…Yet – by Michael Kell

Frankenstein – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – June 2016

When good is called evil and evil is called good, moral relevancy is replaced by something else. In the 21st century, it is political correctness. Free speech in the public arena is now about silencing speech. That’s pretty warped but nothing novel. The free press has […]

By | May 31st, 2016|Cup of Conversation|Comments Off on Frankenstein – by Michael Kell

Improbable Gifts – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – May 2016

There are moments in our kids’ lives, pivotal moments defining who they are and what they’re destined to be. Some twenty years ago, summer in Oregon came early. Our youngest was just a year old and headed back east with her mother. Mary was going to visit an elderly […]

By | May 1st, 2016|Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on Improbable Gifts – by Michael Kell

Final Arrangements – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – April 2016

When we sat down to prepare our trust and will arrangements, the estate planner asked how we wanted to structure the end of life details. This means death and burial instructions. The attorney said no detail is too small. They clearly didn’t know who they were talking to.

Mary said […]

By | March 30th, 2016|Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on Final Arrangements – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation, March 2016 – by Michael Kell

Our grown daughter sent me this the other day. She said it reminded her of me…Love you, Dad! That’s pretty funny but not really. Her teen years were foggy days for me. I was sick as a dog for that particular time in space

We were blessed with a very beautiful daughter although I could make […]

By | March 1st, 2016|Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on A Cup of Conversation, March 2016 – by Michael Kell

Desperate – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – February 2016

I studied economics in college. Almost every macro-economics professor used the Great Depression as a model in explaining modern theory. Today, honest analysis tells us there isn’t much difference in real market and index markers than during the worst financial crisis in this nation’s history. The only reason why […]

By | January 28th, 2016|Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on Desperate – by Michael Kell

On Time and Healing – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – Dec 2015/Jan 2016

Healing is a glimpse of heaven. Those sick, in pain or severely depressed can appreciate the depth of the metaphor. Spiritual life reveals much about what we don’t understand and the joy of heaven is real to those with faith to believe. In this world, however, there is […]

By | December 1st, 2015|Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on On Time and Healing – by Michael Kell

Twin Pillars – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – November 2015

Last Christmas Eve was joyously spent at the Jacksonville Inn. A week later, our family celebrated at the Bella Union. Our grown kids look forward to this every homecoming because these places represent home to them. We have no memories of Jacksonville without Jerry Evans and Jerry Hayes and […]

By | October 23rd, 2015|Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on Twin Pillars – by Michael Kell

Thumbprint – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – October 2015

Number 30 of the 33 notable things observed over the past twenty-five years of living and doing business in a small town says,

“Understand the inherent moral contract of employing young people. With the right guidance and encouragement, any one of them just may change the world for the better.”

We’ve […]

By | September 30th, 2015|Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on Thumbprint – by Michael Kell

Bruce – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – September 2015

I watched ESPN’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award presentation honoring Bruce Jenner. The Arthur Ashe Award is named after the iconic tennis star, a man of color in a once traditionally white sport. Arthur was a magnificent athlete and like Bruce found his identity on the courts of fierce competition […]

By | August 28th, 2015|Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on Bruce – by Michael Kell

Lawn Envy – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – August 2015

Truth be known, I suffer from lawn envy. Dad had it in spades as does my brother. The neighbor’s greener, thicker, well-manicured grass drives us crazy. If there is a deeper-seated reason for this petty neurosis, I’d rather not know. At least I’m talking about it which is the […]

By | July 29th, 2015|Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on Lawn Envy – by Michael Kell

On the Clock – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – July 2015

It is interesting how we memorialize the end of things. What is it about the last day or last goodbye or last play of the game that gets our attention? Could it be because we innately understand everything in life has an expiration date so the passing of even […]

By | June 29th, 2015|Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|1 Comment

Selfie – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – June 2015

Mary recently suggested I update the profile photo on this column. I asked her why and she said the image didn’t really look like me anymore. I’m trying not to read too much into that but image and perception are primarily manipulated by what we see and therefore believe. […]

By | May 27th, 2015|Cup of Conversation|Comments Off on Selfie – by Michael Kell

Mikie – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – May 2015

Our house had just burned down. A few weeks later my wife was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, not the best of times. I mention this only because it was during this season Mikie walked into my life. It’s always when we’re the most distracted by our own issues that […]

By | April 29th, 2015|Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on Mikie – by Michael Kell

Conundrum of Loss – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – April 2015

Channel surfing the other night, I landed on National Geographic’s Big Cats of the Serengeti. This is where my wife usually exits the room but not before shooting me a subtle yet unmistakable look of disapproval. Okay, I’m drawn to the drama of the plains but not because of […]

By | March 31st, 2015|Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on Conundrum of Loss – by Michael Kell

Earth House Crazy – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – March 2015

I remember the day Mary’s obstetrician told us the baby was transverse lie breach (hugging mamma high and tight sideways) though we still had time. The due day was a few weeks out and there was no sign of an early delivery, not to worry! Leaving the office, however, […]

By | February 27th, 2015|Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on Earth House Crazy – by Michael Kell

Fraternity of Marriage – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – February 2015

After twenty-five years of marital bliss, I’ve come to understand a great many more things about life, love, and the beautiful reality of imperfection called marriage. Some things can’t be taught in the classroom, only learned on the job. We raise our kids with the best of intentions especially […]

By | January 23rd, 2015|Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on Fraternity of Marriage – by Michael Kell

“I bring you good news…” – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – December 2014/January 2015

“I bring you good news which shall bring great joy to all people…”

Mary wasn’t dreaming when the words hit the woman-child like a thunderbolt. She could not be pregnant because she had never been with a boy that way. The only thing more surreal than the idea of […]

By | November 24th, 2014|Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on “I bring you good news…” – by Michael Kell

Next – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – November 2014

The world is changing and once reasonable expectations for the next generation are now pretty much off the table. For twenty-five years we’ve called Southern Oregon home, raised our kids and built a life upon the foundations of what is now so familiar. Change is in the air, though, […]

By | November 5th, 2014|Cup of Conversation|Comments Off on Next – by Michael Kell

Finishing Well – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – October 2014

The tapestry of a man’s life is woven with many living threads but only a rare few actually color the soul. True friendship is purified by heat and pressure. The rest is recycled in the wisdom of choosing carefully those with whom we share our time. We’ve heard that […]

By | September 25th, 2014|Cup of Conversation|Comments Off on Finishing Well – by Michael Kell

Skinny Mirror – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – September 2014

For Father’s Day I received a basket of gifts one of which is a trivia game called Chat Pack, a collection of conversation starters for around the dinner table. One of the questions asked what would be the most common word people use to describe you. Keep in mind […]

By | August 27th, 2014|Cup of Conversation|Comments Off on Skinny Mirror – by Michael Kell

Culture of Civility – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – August 2014

The city recently mailed out a notice to all merchants that city personnel can no longer spend any time collecting on slow-paying accounts, specifically business license and parking district participation fees. The fines for late payment will be assessed at or up to a thousand dollars per day as […]

By | July 29th, 2014|Cup of Conversation|1 Comment

Earn This – by Michael Kell

A Cup of Conversation – July 2014

Memorial Day afternoon a man driving down Oregon Street suffered a cardiac arrest then plowed into the face of GoodBean Jacksonville but not before crushing table and chairs just outside the entrance. The one hundred fifty-five year old solid brick pillar absorbed the car’s massive blow. Only by the […]

By | July 2nd, 2014|Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on Earn This – by Michael Kell

Together – by Michael Kell

This month next year, my lovely wife and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. That’s a quarter-century ago. It’s also the same year we started a life and business in Southern Oregon. As we grow older, more and more people ask us how we met, how we got started, how we made it all work.

Old Jim – by Michael Kell

I first met Old Jim back in the early nineties when commercial Jacksonville was struggling to survive. The only enterprise with consistent lines out the door throughout the year was Loaves and Fishes, the community food kitchen next door serving hundreds of seniors every week.

By | May 2nd, 2014|Columns, Contributed Posts, Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on Old Jim – by Michael Kell

Words – by Michael Kell

Words are powerful. Words hold the course of life and death, redemption and judgment. Words are the molecular building blocks of creation and human interaction. Words seal transactions, heal transgressions and are more potent than destiny...

By | March 28th, 2014|Columns, Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on Words – by Michael Kell

Growing Old – by Michael Kell

One key to growing old gracefully is limiting television to network evening news and the Turner Classic Movie channel. Network anchors are all attractive, middle-aged or older men and women. Most commercial spots on the news sell pharmaceuticals to older, attractive men and women. Teenagers, twenty-something’s and even thirty-something’s are pretty much absent, making the process of denial so much easier.

By | February 26th, 2014|Columns, Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on Growing Old – by Michael Kell

The Decision – by Michael Kell

Nothing cuts to the quick of reality faster than burying the young. For one brief moment time slows down enough for us to come up out of this world’s ether and see life in its natural state; brief and fragile, precious and final. No exchanges, no returns.

By | January 29th, 2014|About Jacksonville, Columns, Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on The Decision – by Michael Kell

James Bond – by Michael Kell

Life moves pretty fast. We think we have time enough both present and future but it’s a lie. The tyranny of the urgent so often prevents higher ideals from ever taking form. The sad irony is the higher ideal almost always involves helping others outside our circles...

By | December 5th, 2013|Columns, Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on James Bond – by Michael Kell

The 33 – by Michael Kell

Over the years people have asked me how we’ve survived living and doing business in a small town for so long...

By | November 5th, 2013|About Jacksonville, Columns, Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on The 33 – by Michael Kell

The Imperfect Game – by Michael Kell

I’ve noticed that columns in the Review have become engagingly pithy and more personal. This is a very good thing...

Small Pond Living – by Michael Kell

I think we are all designed to live in a small pond and if not a small pond then much smaller parts of bigger ponds.

By | September 7th, 2013|About Jacksonville, Columns, Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on Small Pond Living – by Michael Kell

Best – By Michael Kell

This year we were asked by Oregon’s State Fair Division to be the title sponsor and director of the 2013 Best Coffee in Oregon...

By | July 27th, 2013|Columns, Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on Best – By Michael Kell

Lessons in the Boat – by Michael Kell

As a young boy, I liked to sit in the bow of the small aluminum fishing boat. I liked the wind in my face and the way...

By | July 11th, 2013|About Jacksonville, Columns, Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on Lessons in the Boat – by Michael Kell

Sandbox Politics – by Michael Kell

As many of us are now familiar with the blogosphere of political opinion, especially Facebook...

By | June 3rd, 2013|About Jacksonville, Columns, Cup of Conversation, Featured Stories|Comments Off on Sandbox Politics – by Michael Kell