The 2017 Parking Industry Exhibition (PIE) is coming next month, and I thought it appropriate to give a shout-out to John Van Horn and his Parking Today team for the vision they had many years ago in creating PIE — and the “stick-to-itiveness” to see it through.

The show is back to Chicago this spring, the rightful home of PIE, and the familiar Hyatt Regency O’Hare (in Rosemont). Last year was a great celebration in Las Vegas, a party-to-end-all-parties.

But, you know, sometimes it just feels right to come home.

I think of PIE in Chicago as like sitting by the fireplace with friends on a cold evening, sharing a nice cup of tea.

I recently saw a couple of great movies: “Hacksaw Ridge” and “Lion.” I’m a sucker for true stories, and really a sucker for people who focus, set a goal and achieve. Individuals with stick-to-itiveness!

What’s interesting about forgiveness is that whatever happened to us that makes us feel the need to forgive another person, even after we forgive them, will still have a permanent impact on us. Forgiveness doesn’t mean forgetting the injustice, because we need to learn from any injustice done to us so as not to have it repeated.

So is the case of the lead character in “Hacksaw Ridge,” Desmond T. Doss. Army Medic Doss, for religious reasons, refused to carry a weapon in the WWII battle of Okinawa on Hacksaw Ridge. He had felt the calling to enlist, but not to carry a weapon.

Doss desired to save lives, not take lives. Throughout his training, because he refused to carry a weapon, fellow soldiers physically and mentally abused him, feeling as if his refusal to carry a weapon might one day endanger their lives.

Doss didn’t think so.

(Spoiler alert.) Well, it wouldn’t be a story worth telling if the men in his company were correct. Doss, in an effort never again repeated by a conscientious objector, personally saved 75 men from their deaths in a measure of heroism like no other. He stuck to the task of single-handedly saving these men in the face of grave danger. The men he saved were the same men who had treated him so poorly.

Doss never forgot what these men did to him, but he did forgive them, and as he saved them one at a time, he didn’t want to treat them like he had been treated. He showed mercy and compassion toward them, just as he had hoped that they would have shown him from the beginning.

“Lion” is another (true story) movie about an individual who became focused on a goal and stuck to it till the end. Five-year-old Saroo gets lost on a train, which takes him more than a thousand miles away from his home and across India.

Saroo ends up alone in a world full of strange places, a new language and an unexpected life away from his family.

Twenty-five years later, as a 30-year-old man and now living in Tasmania, Saroo discovers the Google Earth software program, and against all odds, finds the needle in a haystack. Through it, he locates his home village and successfully re-unites with his mother. Saroo never gave up on his dream to find the home and family that he longed for every day of his life. His heart was set on home.

Whether it’s as simple as the pleasure of being back in Chicago for 2017 PIE, or as complex as what Saroo must have felt as he re-traced the glorious paths of his youth in his home village, or the endurance of both Saroo and Doss to see the completion of their missions at hand, we love being with people like them.

Our parking industry is full of good hard-working people. People who give all they have in order to follow their visions and dreams. People who are extending generations of family history in the parking world.

If you haven’t been to Chicago for the PIE show, come meet and get to know your family. It’s time for you to come home!

Article contributed by:
Jeff Pinyot
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