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Published by: Vaurn James 18-Jan-14
Thoughts on Michael. Michael P. Pachuta, March 9, 1955-December 18, 2013. 'What's the use of wond'ring/ If he's good or if he's bad?/ He's your feller and you love him/ That's all there is to that.' (from 'What's the Use of Wond'ring','Carousel'.)
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant.

Author's program note. This is the story of a man I knew who died. It is our story, for in learning about that man you will learn about this man... and you will learn about yourself, which is always difficult and always worth doing.

This article will make you think about what brings people together... and what drives them apart. In the next minutes, you will laugh... and you will cry. You will want to have known Michael... and you will be glad you didn't... then sorry you missed him all over again.

Human relationships are like that. They are never about just one thing, they are about everything, and as fast as you can boil asparagus they can jump from one thing to another... and back again. That's how it was with Michael... that's how it is with me... and, if you're honest, it's how it is with you.

So, let's have some music, the kind he liked, soaring, lyric, so beautiful you can hardly bear it.

Mike, Michael.

For openers, you'll never understand Michael Pachuta unless you understand that he started as Mike and ended as Michael. He was always Michael to me, and he liked it that way. You see, calling him Michael gave him just a hint of the class he had sought for a lifetime, but so rarely got.

No, you will never understand Michael if you don't know how much he wanted that class and easy acceptance, that recognition, how hard he worked to get it (for he was a prodigious worker), yet how seldom he got it. Well, that buck stops here.

I was his CEO, goad, colleague, and I was always glad to compliment his performance... just as I never hesitated to tell him when it needed this or that, thereby moving closer to perfection.

The music is Rodgers and Hammerstein's breathtakiing "Carousel Waltz" from the 1945 Broadway musical, "Carousel". Find it now in any search engine. It conveys the magic, the beauty, the joy that every carnival must deliver... for the purpose of a carnival is to brighten burdened lives with color, happiness, elation, and a lifetime of brilliant, bittersweet memories and faded photographs, crumpled and priceless.

This is one part, the most visible part of a carnival, where you spin forever on the most captivating part of this experience, the carousel. No one has ever captured this aspect of the carnival with greater accuracy and joy than Rodgers and Hammerstein.

But there is another aspect of the carnival that is not so joyous and alluring... and that is the back stage "keep it out of sight so the happy customers will not see" drudgery... and from his early days young Mike Pachuta, carney, knew this.This part of the life was rootless, uncertain, here today, gone tomorrow, a life without stability or security, the purveyors of magic so desperately needing some of this magic to lighten their own lives and make their burdens bearable... and here Michael needed all the help he could get.

He never mentioned his mother Bonnie Ellen to me, but he would talk about his carney father Michael Richard Pachuta. And what he said was often disquieting, saddening, deeply disturbing, always distressing; the kind of thing no one ever wants to hear and which we too often flee. There were the sharp, hurtful words, and the sharper, hurtful miseries, physical, mental, always painful, the stuff of torment and heartbreak.

It was all there, too frequent, the ironic backdrop to the entrancing elegance of the always circulating carousel, an object of sublime beauty and floating splendor, a glorious thing that reminded Michael that there was beauty and joy in the world; he just needed to find and grasp them with all his might when he did. This became the quest of his often rocky life. On this quest, he answered an ad on the Internet for a business opportunity, an ad that lead him to Worldprofit... and to me.

By this time in his life he had done all the foolish things we do to hurt ourselves. This included a punishing schedule as a school bus driver, a thankless task that might well make you despair given the simian behaviors of the young people we are afraid to call our future. Michael cracked the whip, barked orders, took the worst perpetrators aside for blunt chats and stern admonitions. He also drove athletic teams to their games; to quell their overabundant enthusiasms when they won... and to exhort them to greater efforts when they lost. He gave, early and late, more than he had to give. He gave because giving was Michael's metier, the person he was, the person he had to be. And now this person entered my sphere...

Michael and me, the scruffy bearded ying; the decadent, effete yang (or so he thought).

For the last 8 years or so, I have been using Worldprofit's Live Business Center at Worldprofit to do cutting-edge video marketing. The site is unique, not least because it is manned 24 hours a day by dedicated volunteers called Monitors. These dedicated folks answer questions and generally do a magnificent job of getting people worldwide started in a home-based business of their own. Thousands have already successfully done so.

Michael saw the LBC, and it was love at first sight. He made it clear to me, the Worldprofit officer for recruiting, training and working with Monitors, that he was ready, willing and able to be recruited, trained and worked with. I confess I was skeptical. I had grave doubts that he could pull it off, becoming a productive member of the team.

He, after all, was self-educated. I was Harvard. He slaughtered the language I loved, irritated that I corrected him over and over again. We met almost daily in mortal combat. He liked coming up on the screen. He had the undoubted gift of gab and could sling the linguistic hash with almost anyone... but me... and I was the boss.

However I knew as soon as I saw his screen test that he was not only talented but that he was real, exuding sincerity, integrity, credibility. He thought that would be enough... but I wanted the perfection I knew he could give. Good enough just wasn't good enough. And on this basis the skirmishes of our unending war took place, with me always having the last word. Rank, after all, hath its privileges. That infuriated him... and ensured he did his best to trip me up. It was a competition that thrilled us both... and kept his nose in the dictionary, a book with which he had previously had but scant acquaintance.

Of course, he thought of quitting. That, after all, is always a possibility, although for winners nothing more than that. However, Michael loved the people, loved the interaction with all the people worldwide he was helping, and knew he couldn't get it anywhere else. There had to be a way of keeping what he loved while putting that pesky know-it-all (that would be me) in his place. And there was... it was called understanding what that know-it-all had in mind. Thus Michael slowly but surely embraced cooperation. Its results were exhibited in a most memorable way...

Michael and The Grinch.

In December of 2012, I began working on a story that became an immediate classic, "Christmas from another point of view. The Grinch has his day... astonishing revelations from his first-ever interview exclusive to me exclusively here." As usual Michael asked me what I was working on, what he could read aloud from my current work in progress. And so he came to meet The Grinch. And though I didn't recognize the perfect partnership instantly, Michael most assuredly did. You see, every great actor knows which role is his to fly with... and there was no doubt this pairing was inspired.

Imagine if you will the background music provided by Eric Clapton, "After Midnight", and this trenchant description, " 'Ask me anything...' and he grinned broadly, the kind of grin of ribald remarks, very dry martinis perfectly made, and bottoms pinched just so. Thus I learned that The Grinch liked the good life."

And so Michael brought voice to my already irrepressible character and made the world smile, especially at Christmas, like another jolly old elf, whom he so distinctly resembled.

One day he had the nerve to shave off his luxurious growth. I was horrified and said so. "You don't tamper with perfection!" He got the point and never made that mistake again. He was learning...and loving the results. I'd captured my man...

As he perfected himself so he paid closer attention to my objectives, to the extent that he became one of my most effective readers, a man who could move the heart of the world... and did.

Michael Pachuta had found a home and a community of people who valued him and knew exactly how big his big heart was. Yes, he was home with us... and was fair enough to compliment me, something he told me with characteristic bluntness he never thought he'd ever do. Like I said, he was honest to a fault. And we all loved and treasured him accordingly, for he was the best of us.

Now he is gone, but not alone for he has taken a part of each of us on his eternal journey accompanied by the celestial touch of another masterpiece by Rodgers and Hammerstein from "Carousel", "You'll Never Walk Alone". Go now to any search engine and listen carefully for there is peace for us all.

"Walk on through the wind/Walk on through the rain/ Tho' your dreams be tossed and blown/ Walk on, walk on/ With hope in your heart/ And you'll never walk alone/ You'll never walk alone."

No, Michael you will never walk alone.


The character of Billy Bigelow, male lead in "Carousel', was made famous by John Raitt (1917-2005). As it happened his son Steve was sports editor on the high school newspaper, "The Warrior". I was editor-in-chief. Steve's little sister was Bonnie Raitt, and we treated her with the offhand nonchalance that distinguishes the relations of older brothers and younger sisters. I saw Mr. Raitt often but never in his role as heart throb singer and movie star. No, he was just Steve and Bonnie's dad. Sadly, just recently I learned that Steve, once so handsome, vibrant and mischievous had passed (April 2009, just 61) and a wave of sadness and nostalgia overcame me. But I knew that he, too, would never walk alone...


The author takes this opportunity to dedicate this very personal story about Michael Pachuta to his two daughters Dianna Sandora and Darcia Mason and Darcia's four children Gage, CaraMia, Mathew and Aiden. It is my pleasure to have shown you all a side of Michael you may not have known... and each of you must surely know now that you, too, will never walk alone.

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About the Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online training, services and resources for small and-home based businesses. http://www.SuccessRoute.biz/?rd=ph6LwV79 Republished with author's permission by Vaurn James http://SuccessRoute.biz



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