How Old Are You Anyway?


How Old Are You Anyway?

Dinner last night with Andreas Jansson from Cale America was enjoyable. He is a  bright young man whose heart and head seem to be in the right place. He was sent to the US for seven months two years ago to fight fires, and stayed on to pour water on the glowing embers. He mentioned that his wife was uncertain about coming here, but as the seven months neared an end, she said that it was snowing in Sweden, and not snowing in Tampa and couldn’t think of a reason to return home.

He said that his parents actually see more of their grandchildren now than they did when they lived 40 minutes apart. They look for any excuse to come to visit, particularly in the winter.

Andreas tells met that last year, ending in June 2015, was the best they have had in the US and he expects big things to come. Cities are looking closely at how they collect parking fees and multispace and pay by license plate meters are on everyone’s list. He must be doing something right.

He told me about moving to America and having no credit, only an AMEX card from Sweden. He called American Express and asked if they would issue him a US based card. Due to his excellent credit, this was no problem. He noted that there is a place on the card that says “member since” and then a date. He was very proud of his card, which reflected his membership since 2001, when he turned 21.

I smiled and pulled out my card, which dated from 1970. I then realized that my AMEX card was 10 years older than Andreas. I told him I received the original card when I left the army. Seems AMEX made it a policy to provide a Green card to all officers who had completed their commitment. Andreas did the numbers and asked my about my service in Vietnam. I confessed that I spent all the time in the Army not ‘in country’ but in Okinawa, then an “American Rock” but now a Japanese prefecture.

Andreas is an interesting and intelligent representative of his company. I expect big things out of Cale America in the coming years.



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John Van Horn

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