The Road to Enterprise by Arch Aplin Jr.
One Man's Journey in the Land of Opportunity

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Synopsis

"Mark Twain couldn’t have penned a finer boyhood than mine. I was Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer rolled into one, and Harrisonburg was any moon-washed river town that Huck and Jim would have floated past on their raft.
While much of the nation forged headlong into the relatively new century, shooting skyscrapers higher and higher and flying aircraft unfathomable distances, Harrisonburg and its neighboring towns clung comfortably to the past, making do with mostly one story buildings, as many horse-drawn wagons as motorcars, and boats that had slowly plied the river for decades.
Anyone making their way up to the town from the river had to pass the top of the bluff, between a pair of businesses owned by Arch Aplin, Esquire. Who was, in addition to being my father, a walking embodiment of an entrepreneur. One business being a cotton gin and the other a general mercantile store.
Before I was old enough to venture out on my own or to go to school, my mother would take me with her to the store every early morning and I’d stay there all day, watching the shoppers come and go. When it was time for a nap, I’d stretch out on a cot in the back room and close my eyes and take in all the smells of the place and listen as women chattered away around the stove.
The jingling bell over the front door and the clanging of the cash register are perhaps the earliest sounds I remember. They’ve played like a sweet tune down the years.
I’ve finally come to realize that they really might have been more than just pleasing sounds. They may have been a siren’s call to the inviting waters of commerce."
 

About Arch Aplin Jr.

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Arch Aplin, Jr. has been a sailor onboard two ships that saw considerable action in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres of World War II, a high school teacher and basketball coach, and a contractor who has built shopping centers, entire subdivisions full of new homes, and a dozen post offices. But before he distinguished himself in that trio of pursuits he was an enterprising young boy in a small Louisiana town on the bluffs of a fast flowing river, making money any way he could, from selling figs in syrup cans to providing cigarettes and candy from his father’s general store to inmates in the county jail - for a price, of course. Throughout his long life he has been guided by principals of hard work and honest dealing that he learned from his parents, good people with not much in the way of a formal education. They ran several businesses that turned good profits at the very height of the Great Depression. Arch Aplin’s story is full to brimming with the American Dream, practical ways to go about achieving it, and, because he sees it as greatly tarnished and even restricted in recent times, ways to bring us back to the greatness that we once knew in this country. The Road to Enterprise is the story of a life well and meaningfully lived. And it is the story of Americans facing great conflicts – in both war and peace.
 
Published December 30, 2011 by AuthorHouse. 133 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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