Shine For Yourself So Others Can See Shine For Themselves

Shine for yourself so other people can see how you could create shine for them.

Shine comes from using your talents. People who see opportunity for themselves in your talents will spark new opportunities that increase your success.


Antonio Pasin

Antonio Pasin came to the United States from Italy at age 16* and started a new life in New York City. Antonio learned cabinetmaking from his cabinetmaker father. He started his own business making cabinets for phonographs. Antonio built a little wooden wagon to move his tools around with him. Antonio’s customers began asking him to build little wooden wagons for their children. Thus was born the wagon that eventually became the Radio Flyer, the red steel wagon many of us grew up with and later bought for our own children and grandchildren.

*Sources give either 1913 or 1914 as the year Antonio came to the U.S.

“A Wild Ride in a Red Wagon: How an Italian Immigrant created an icon of the American childhood”
Reshma Memon Yaqub
Inc. Magazine
November 2012, page 112


Bob Gale

The movie Back to the Future was the first of three movies based on a question screenwriter Bob Gale asked himself.

“It all started, says screenwriter Bob Gale, when he looked at his father’s high school year book and wondered, ‘If I knew my dad back then, would I have been friends with him?’ The rest was history.”

“Its Been 25 Years! Back To The Future”
Howard Breuer
People Magazine
September 13, 2010, page 42.


Daniel O’Keefe

In 1966, Daniel O’Keefe Sr. created Festivus on his first date with Deborah, who would become his wife. He wanted a secular holiday “not burdened by the religious and commercialism of the holiday season.” Daniel made the holiday an annual event that had no set date. On each Festivus, family members tape recorded what was bothering them. They also wore hats. Most of the yearly celebrations had a theme. An O’Keefe family motto was, “Festivus for the Rest of Us.”

Dan O’Keefe Jr was a writer for the television comedy Seinfeld. As soon as the other writers learned about Dan’s family festival, they decided what was shine for the O’Keefe family should be shine for Seinfeld. The writers made some changes, then introduced the shine of Daniel O’Keefe’s idea to the rest of the world, as in Festivus for the Rest of Us.

“The Origins of Festivus”

The Real Festivus
Dan O’Keefe


Ellie Cole

Secretary and former performing arts student Ellie Cole likes to dance while she is waiting at bus stops.

From her cafe across the street, Jane Rowland filmed Ellie dancing  at a bus stop. She uploaded the video to the Internet with Abba’s Dancing Queen as background music. Ellie’s dancing to shine for herself convinced Lynne Paris, writer and director of the play Ah Men, that Ellie could shine for her. Paris asked Ellie to sing and dance in a chorus line for a cafe scene in her play. At the end of the play, audience members stood up and danced to Dancing Queen so they could share in Ellie Cole’s shine.

“Watch Ellie Cole From Southampton Dance At Bus Stop”
Chris Reed
HOT 107.9
September 16, 2013

“Woman who becomes internet hit after bus stop dance to appear on stage”
Hayley Dixon
The Telegraph
September, 2013


Frank Kovac

Frank Kovac lives in Monico, Wisconsin, close to the top of the state. Frank’s father introduced him to the stars when he was a child in Chicago, using a small telescope and a star map. After military service, Frank took a paper mill job in Rhinelander and bought a house in Monico where the sky is dark and the stars are bright.

Frank enjoyed showing the stars to other people with the telescope he bought for himself, but wanted a way to show people the stars even when the weather was bad. He decided to build a planetarium. It took Frank ten long years. He built the dome with a 45 degree tilt to replicate the north latitude. He made the dome rotate, adding 24 individual “ribs” for each hour of the day. Using luminous paint, a star map, and the sky itself, Frank painted all of the 5,200 stars in the northern sky into the dome. His planetarium passed inspection and received certification for public use. In 2007, Frank opened Kovac Planetarium to the public. One year later, Frank had so many shows scheduled at his planetarium that he quit his paper mill job. Tourists visit. School buses bring children. Reservations are required. Frank is now making a living through the planetarium he built, the largest mechanical globe planetarium in the world.

Kovac Planetarium has dozens of reviews at Most of the reviews give an “Excellent” rating to the planetarium “where the universe revolves around you!”

Kovac Planetarium has closed.


Jasmine Standley

Jasmine lives in a rough Chicago neighborhood. To ease her mind, Jasmine sits outside and paints. Passersby are so impressed with her art that they have started buying it.

Jasmine takes orders through .

“‘Art eases my mind’: Englewood teen paints outside, every day, filling her neighborhood with color”
Steven Graves
CBS Chicago
August 16, 2022


Leslie Josel

During a year of job loss, death, and illness, Leslie Josel’s son received a diagnosis of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). To help both her son and herself cope, Leslie reorganized his room. She made everything in his room visible and coded all of his possessions blue. This eased his stress and gave him a sense of order. When people saw how Leslie had created shine for her son and herself, they wanted her to create shine for them as well.

Because she did not feel immediately ready to create shine for other people, Leslie needed to create more shine for herself. She took classes and worked as an apprentice to organizers who were licensed and had experience. Since opening her own business, she has appeared as an expert on television.

“Reinvention: Organizing a Happier Life”
Amanda Robb
More Magazine
March 2012, pages 107-113

Order Out of Chaos


Ralph Bruno

Wisconsinite Ralph Bruno was pulling gold foam out of the couch he was reupholstering for his mother when an idea struck. Remembering the people who called Wisconsin sports fans “cheeseheads”, Ralph decided to make a cheese hat out of the foam to get a reaction from his friends. When Ralph wore his hat to a Green Bay Packers game, his friends were so embarrassed they didn’t want to sit with him. Other people laughed. But all through the game, strangers asked Ralph where he bought his cheese hat. Knowing a good thing when he heard it, Ralph started making cheese hats to sell. Ralph’s Cheesehead:

Is displayed in the Smithsonian Institution.

Was on a shelf for an episode of the television show Cheers.

Saved a life in a plane crash.

Went from the top of Mt. Everest to the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.

Ralph’s shine for himself has provided Wisconsinites with jobs since 1987.


Milwaukee, Wisconsin resident Amerik Wojciechowski made a cheese-colored, wedge-shaped, cardboard hat that he wore to a Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago White Sox game in Chicago in 1987. He had some made out of foam, sold about 3,000, then went onto other things.

Ralph Bruno was apparently at that same Brewers’ game.

“Cheesehead Has Aged Well”
Roy Reiman
Our Wisconsin Magazine
October/November 2013, page 11

“Cheese hats are on, gloves off Wis. companies sue over business rights to cheese headdress: SUPER BOWL XXXI”
Jon Morgan
The Baltimore Sun
January 24, 1997


Robot Chicken

Robot Chicken is an Emmy winning stop-motion claymation comedy on cable television and the Internet. Creators are Seth Green, Matthew Senreich, Douglas Goldstein, and Tom Root.

You can watch Robot Chicken on

According to Seth Green, he and his friends made “a dopey little show” because “we think it’s funny.”

“Toying Around”
Michael Logan
TV Guide
January 9, 2015, page 39


Vanessa Williams

Now an award winning singer and actress, Vanessa got her start by entering beauty pageants for the possibility of winning scholarship money. Becoming a beauty queen was not her dream. She loved singing and believes she won several pageants because she “was just being myself and that was refreshing.” Other pageant contestants appeared “rehearsed” because they had participated in more pageants than Vanessa.

“How Vanessa Willliams Got Her Groove Back!”
Patrik Henry Bass
Essence Magazine
May 2012, pages 124-127


© Paula M. Kramer, 2010 to the present.
All rights reserved.
Last updated September 8, 2022.