THOUGHTS ABOUT A FASCINATING TRIP
BY WILLIAM MAGEE, PRESIDENT, MAHC

I did not rest well at all the night before April 25, 2009. My phone rang early in the morning; the person on the line was saying to me that it was time to get ready for my trip to the airport. I was glad and sad all at the same time that morning. Halfway to the airport I realized that I had left my ticket and passport at home. The driver had to turn around and take me back home to retrieve the documents before I could truly say that I was on my way.

Once on the plane, I tried to sleep, but I could not because something within my mind kept whispering to me that this attempt to venture into a new direction for the organization could be a disappointment to all who were attending – MAHC’s Education on the High C’s. Would they feel that their money was spent wisely? Would they get out of it the increased knowledge they were looking for?

These thoughts plagued me as word had gotten back to me through “the grapevine” that there were some who did not wish success for the MAHC organization as they attempted this new direction. However, as the plane approached Miami, began to become excited about the possibilities just ahead of us. There was a certain joy rising in my soul as I recalled all of the hard work on behalf of the organization and its members that the Board and Staff expended. Their goal was to make this educational cruise offering one that we would not forget for a long time.

When I arrived at the dock I stood looking at the ship we were about to board, its name, Destiny. I stood there thinking had we given enough thought to all of the pros and cons before making a decision which would impact our members, now and into the future. Destiny, stood before me in more than one way at that moment.

I stood in that spot with tears in my eyes, thinking about the journey that this organization and its Board has traveled. As I did so, my mind went back to a cold day in Detroit, MI in the early 1960’s when several Cooperative Members got together to try to formulate an organization which would benefit all members and help to preserve the cooperative housing movement. That was the start of this dream and it lifts my heart to say that today we stand on the shoulders of the brave men and women that gave so much in those early days, where we stand is in the realization of a dream, a vision, which has become reality. I am not sure that those early founders of this organization ever envisioned MAHC sailing away with education, hope and confidence………..but they gave us the courage to try.

As I boarded the ship I looked skyward and gave a prayer of thanks to all those who had made this day possible and let me be a part of something wonderful. The definition of the word Destiny is “that which is determined or predetermines to happen in relation to a course of events”. I moved very slowly to get to my room. I was full of hope, vision and good will for all of our members and management agencies that took the time and expended the money
to support this new and exciting direction. These people had the faith to come with us on a new direction of education – workshops on the high seas.

I was in my room at about 4:10 pm and went to my balcony and was surprised to find that the ship was moving, we were off on our adventure! I watched for a while as the blue waters parted for the big ship. My life had come full circle. I was thinking about all those who gave me a helping hand and words of encouragement to keep going and never look back. I also was reminded of the harsh reality that there are people who will choose to hate you no matter what you say. I have had many in the cooperative movement to do just that. But today I realize it all has made me a better person having dealt with the trials and tribulations. I know there will be days the sun will shine and days when the rain will come. I say to myself “I know the sun will shine upon my face”. With this in my heart I am able to have my good days and face the bad days as well. I begin to give thanks to be able to work with the greatest group of people in the world and of course I am speaking of board members. The MAHC Board members who give so much of themselves and ask so little in return have my eternal gratitude. I am the lucky person to work with a group that works so hard to make a little person like me look like somebody. You have given me voice which I will continue to use to never let this organization down.. I can never say thank you enough for all that you have done and all that you continue to do.

Well, the ship is now back in port, all the workshops have been given, the election is over. We have met with many people from all walks of life, shared many stories about now and the future. We built new bridges on this trip. We learned many things about other and ourselves as well. As I get my luggage and look around my room preparing to leave, I fight to now become melodramatic, because I have lived a lifetime within these 5 days and yes, we have many promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep.

To all my friends I just want to say; live each day as best you can and please never stop by the way side to watch others or loose precious time, because it is time you will never get back. We may never come this way again, so let us look to tomorrow to seek out those in need of direction to better lead their cooperatives, and keep dreaming, and keep running and never look back, because there is nothing to see.

Respectfully Submitted by your
Faithful Servant,
William Magee, ARM, IAP, NAP
President Midwest Association of
Housing Cooperatives