The photo is of J&J Antiques in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, where Paul and I browsed one afternoon, when we recently visited. The shop is owned by Marjie Johnson, a delightful lady, who runs it with her friend Julia (pronounced Yulia). We got to talking…told her we were/are Rhode Islanders and she asked about my book (I don’t know how it came up…Wink..wink!). Anyway, she bought Boomerrrang and sent me her thoughts on it last week:
I wanted to let you know I read your book right away and loved it! What a fun, but informative read. Julia asked me, “what kind of book is it?” I told her, it’s a tragedy, a comedy, a retirement guide for medical, for real estate and most of all just a darn good fun read. When you mentioned the movie – The Blob – I cracked up! I had just been telling my nephew about it a couple weeks prior and that it was the scariest movie ever. LOL!
Your book confirmed for me that my recent decision was a good one regarding “next phase of my life.” So thank you!
I am going to share my book with Julia and then when I can get caught up from being gone for two weeks, I am going to order one for my cousins in Alaska.
I do hope that you and Paul will stop and see us next time you venture to Seattle. We can plan to enjoy Happy Hour next door at Oliver’s Twist!
My best to you.
Now, on to the reason for writing this post. My offer of guest speaking. I love it!! I’ll come before your group if your group’s interests align with my subjects (they’re listed on this site), and if they do, we’ll do it. Just email me. In fact, even if you’re not sure we align, email me anyway. I tailor the talk to your people.
In the past few months, I’ve spoken before: the American Association of University Women (approximately 100) at Atlantic Resort, in Middletown, RI. Then there was my talk before nearly 100 of the Leisure Learning group at St. Luke’s church on Peirce St., East Greenwich. Next I did two Rotary presentations—before Bristol and then North Smithfield. Then, a three-office realtor group at Westminster Unitarian church on Kenyon Ave., in East Greenwich. Following that, I went before an OLLI group at the University of Rhode Island…and just last week, I spoke to seniors at Wingate Healthcare in Needham, Massachusetts. In between, I was a guest on Frank Prosnitz’s radio show out of Westerly.
What’s next? Probably Barrington Public Library and then a talk before a group that meets in a tavern in South Kingstown. I think I’m gonna love that one!
My intent? To go all over, giving folks the tools to live a fuller experience and protect themselves in home purchase/sale.
My “talks” are all on different topics. The one I did last was “Be Your Family’s Memory Keeper”—showing folks how they can use family photos and write original short stories (some a paragraph in length), as they become their own family’s version of Ancestry.com.
Many talks are about downsizing…condo-sizing…How folks can buy/sell to their best advantage. I tell them how to maximize their profits and avoid dangers. This topic is right for any age.
Before older groups, I talk on the theme: “We’re Not ‘Done’ Yet” whereby I suggest folks throw out the model that says after 55, we should sit on a shelf with all our talents and lifetime experience. I talk about the need to buck that mindset and go after whatever they want to do…just as I’ve done.
I show the product of my beliefs—the three books I’ve written in my third career (after teaching and real estate). I wrote columns for years that appeared in newspapers (Wall St. Journal, Providence Journal) but then went the next step and wrote these books. My two children’s books—Grandpa and the Truck, Books 1 and 2, reflect my longtime partner’s experiences traveling across America for thirty years.
I wrote Boomerrrang (released just this year) when I saw people being burned in real estate purchase/sale in our retirement home—Asheville, North Carolina. I wrote it to tell them about our many year experience searching for a home and living in the South and then our decision to return to Rhode Island and to show them how to maximize profit in home purchase/sale and warn them about pitfalls to avoid (again, see my book’s review from storeowner Marjie in beginning of this post.)
My books are available at all of my talks. Boomerrrang is also at Barrington Bookstore in Garden City and Barrington; Savoy Bookstore in Westerly; Malaprops in Asheville, NC; and at Amazon and Kindle (though if you order through my website—colleenkellymellor.com-I can personalize and autograph, per your directives on that site.
Contact me at email@example.com
Caleb Woodhouse,from Rhode Island, writes:
“Boomerrrang! What a great read. I am all admiration for your knowledge, your readiness to learn, your resourcefulness, and your great spunk…There’s loads of wisdom for me to gather about moving (if ever I should try), but I assure you I’ll not be a do-it-yourselfer.
***I appreciate his appreciation of the difficulty of being a realtor.
Beverly Clark of AAUW (American Association of University Women) who ran the recent Annual Authors’ Luncheon at Atlantic Resort in Middletown says:
“We all enjoyed your talk about your adventures… You had the audience in the palm of your hand…and shared your adventures so wittily….(You) added much humor to the afternoon.”
Phil Smith, former neighbor in Hamburg Crossing, North Carolina says:
“I finished your book. It was hard to put down. I sure enjoyed the book.”
The following is from an Ex-Pat Rhode Islander, weighing in on my mass emails:
Deedra Durocher lives in New Bern, NC, (husband considered living in Bat Cave, a town in North Carolina, because he thought it amusing for others to get mail from them there.) She likes Bern but misses Rhode Island’s chowdah and clamcakes, Del’s, Benny’s (but everyone does), NY System wieners, and especially misses being close to the ocean’s smells, sounds, and calming influence. (I get it, Deedra, I surely do.)
Dick Weaver of Asheville writes:
“Thank you for your book, Boomerrrang, Colleen. Both entertaining and thought-provoking. Love your style of writing like speaking from your heart.”
Cal Ellis of Rhode Island says:
“You are the epitome of competent, accomplished versatility. I do enjoy your wit and engaging articulation. Wishing you continued success with your speaking engagements and all the other ways you’re out in front.”
Alice and Rick Gebhart of Rhode Island say:
“This book is the best! My husband and I are reading it together as we are looking at a retirement/rental in the South. We came upon this book and can’t put it down. My husband is literally laughing out loud. Colleen’s humor and knowledge is a mix that can’t be compared.”
Christine Fitzgerald says:
“Book is filled with nuggets of useful information concerning buying and selling real estate…in a slew of very funny stories…some knee-slapping hysterical.”
Sharon and Rick Marcotte of Maine offer:
“Mellor offers a crash course in valuable information regarding realty transactions that you really want to know if you are considering this kind of a move.”
Diane D. offers:
“Fun read about the pitfalls author and her partner encountered while buying a retirement house in North Carolina. So descriptive, the reader will actually think they visited North Carolina! Recommended!!!”
What seems to be the common thread reaction? Folks love the HUMOR…HUMOR…HUMOR in Boomerrrang (and the helpful advice).
Please–Feel free to add your own review….Thank you! And contact me for guest speaking before your group. We WILL have fun!!!
So, buy Boomerrrang, here, on this website (there’s a pay link and if you click on it, it gives you choices as to Paypal or credit card); or at Amazon (book version or Kindle); or at Barrington Books in Barrington or Garden City, Cranston; or at Savoy Bookstore in Westerly.
People ask: So what’s your new book, Boomerrrang, about? I tell them: It’s simple. My book tells how to SELF-ADVOCATE…how to get what you want, whether it’s dealing with medical staff (on the heels of a crisis), interacting with buyer/seller of property, or deciding where you want to live. It’s all the same thing…really.
My book opens with the crash and after-effects of Paul’s terrible accident. Shortly thereafter, I take the neurosurgeon to task, because the doctor was simply gonna discharge Paul, even though Paul was clearly NUTS and not at all like the man I knew before his broken neck.
Overnight, Paul had become a crazy, addled mess.
The doctor acted like I was a neurotic nut case, telling my daughter “Well, maybe we need give her some valium to calm her down.”
That’s when it became war….In the days ahead, I accessed friends, asking any who had medical background to find out what I needed to do to get what I wanted. It worked!
And because I reached out to knowledgeable friends, I learned to succeed in the confusing medical maze.
This meant taking a proactive stance. Not merely acceding to what authority figures said. This became another lesson…
Just one more in life.
I use the same principle in all aspects of my life.
In my younger years, I used to let things happen to me. I didn’t take the reins. No longer.
He lay in the ICU of a top Asheville, North Carolina hospital, in a medically-induced coma, his head wrapped in heated towels to ward off the chills. His partner’s daughter observed: “Lying there, wrapped in that turban, he looks like ET (the lovable extra-terrestrial from the movie by the same name).
At the same time, his partner, Colleen, thought: “Our retirement in this region was never supposed to be like this.”
Paul Wesley Gates and Colleen Kelly Mellor were two Boomers from Rhode Island who’d searched for their perfect retirement home for many years, found it in Asheville, lived there for 9 years and sold—to return to their home state (hence, the term “Boomerrrang”—but spell it with 3 r’s).
The “why” they moved back is significant.
In the fourth year, Paul Wesley Gates was hit on a mountain road behind their condominium complex by a 12-year-old girl, practice-driving her uncle’s truck. (This story made national headlines.) Pulled out of his vehicle by the Jaws of Life, he endured a 9-hour operation to mend his broken neck, choked on post-surgical swelling, and “died.”
Medical staff brought him back, but his recovery was long and difficult.
Rather than allow this crisis to define their future, Paul Gates and Colleen Kelly Mellor used the significant downtime to publish two Grandpa and the Truck books for children, based on Paul’s 30 year career on the road, as independent owner-operator of big rigs. It would be their first foray into book publishing. They plan to publish six more books in the series.
Now Colleen releases Boomerrrang for all who’ll make a similar journey to identify their ideal retirement home….
Like the colorful quilt-makers of the Smoky/Blue Ridge Mountain region, Mellor weaves fun vignettes of their time in this western North Carolina region into her narrative. Chapters such as “Asheville Woman Looking for a Man? Good Luck!”…”It’s a Dog’s World…Unless You’ve Got a Cat” and “In Asheville, Police Respond (Too) Quickly” suggest the fun and wide swath of her focus.
On a practical level, she offers important tips as a former six-figure realtor, regarding how they chose the state…region…community…model townhome. She weighs in on the benefits/pitfalls of condo living, describing regional adjustments (maladjustments) for northerners going south.
But Boomerrrang is not just a book about Asheville. It’s a humor-laced tutorial, useful for anyone buying property… anywhere.
Her longtime partner and she gave life there full effort. She volunteer-taught women prisoners at the Asheville jail (where one night she tried to “break in”) and he ferried blood to Charlotte for the American Red Cross. They had many friends. Hiking trips, luncheons, and meeting groups became their way of life.
But the accident and its after-shocks caused them to reconsider all.
In the end, they returned to their home state.
The reasons may surprise you (They’re not what you’d think.)
Colleen Kelly Mellor, a retired teacher and 6-figure realtor, is now a regular commentator on the Op-Ed pages of the Providence Journal. Her work has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, World News, Scripps-Howard, western North Carolina’s Mountain Xpress, as well as the Warwick Beacon, Cranston Herald, and Kent County Times.
Boomerrrang is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=boomerrrang
Or order a personal, signed copy from the author at https://colleenkellymellor.com
8 “Why’s”…a “How”… and a “When”
- Why it might be best to buy a new condo in an already built community, rather than one you choose from a builder’s model.
- Why a flush Capital Fund is especially important in older condominium complexes… (Sadly, it’s one of the items most buyers ignore.)
- Why it’s best to buy in a complex with high ownership (as opposed to one whose many units are vacant and “For Sale”)…
- Why it’s best for seller to turn over keys after the deed is recorded—not merely after the closing (where buyer/seller sign documents)…
- Why buyers should tour proposed region of choice both day AND night…
- Why buyers should enlist a Buyer Broker whose fiduciary responsibility is to them. Know the different realtor designations (Buyer Broker, Selling Broker, Transactional Broker, Dual Agent)….If not possible to get Buyer Broker, know the questions to ask regarding your intended property purchase. (This book tells you these.)
- If you self-sell (FIS-BO, in the trade—For Sale By Owner), why it’s critical to offer a buyer broker commission on par with what most Buyer Brokers get from realtor-represented homes in the region….
- Why it’s important to list ALL appliances in the sales agreement…
- How you can protect yourself against buying near a Superfund site…
- When you (as seller) can refuse to honor your stated Buyer Broker commission on Zillow.
***So, go out on your journey but first strap Boomerrrang to your hip in the same way the 70’s American Express card ad told everyone: “Don’t leave home without it.”
And give a copy to a friend.
You’ll ALL be the richer for it.