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Monday, February 28, 2011

John Duffy's Personal Ramblings - A Role Model

At a time when we are bombarded with the ongoing tales of Hollywood dysfunction represented by charlie sheen and lindsay lohan, t's refreshing to stumble upon a different story about someone who is polar opposite the self absorbed, privileged, spoiled children that populate Hollywood.

This story is about a young man who is truly a role model of greatness and possibility. Capt. D.J. Skelton age 26 was pummeled by grenades in Fallujuh, Iraq. His injuries were so bad he he shouldn't have recovered but after 60 operations and seven years he has recovered and now age 33 is headed back to rejoin his military company.

That's amazing in itself but here is the mind blower. During those seven years of operations and recovery Capt Skelton managed to teach himself Mandarin Chinese, graduate from West Point military academy, complete a Harvard University fellowship, and write a book — a caretaker’s guide for wounded service members. In addition, he served as a military adviser and co-founded a non-profit organization to help physically disabled individuals participate in outdoor sports.

Now in his own words he puts it best, “I can either dwell on what happened and be miserable and pissy and complain or I can look at what I do have left and figure out how to make the most of my new life… how to make what I have work while always looking for creative ways to make up the difference,”

What a contrast to the narcissism and selfishness too often displayed nowadays especially in Hollywood. It couldn't be clearer. Who represent's the best? A charlie sheen or a Capt. Skelton? Hope you don't need a lifeline call to figure that one out but call me if you do.

Capt. Skelton is clearly a example of courage and
inspiration and truly a role model of possibility. charlie sheen on the other hand is.... well I'll leave that description to you.....

John Duffy

Thought For The Day - Think You Got Problems

"Advoid falling into the trap of thinking you're the only one with problems. Everyone has problems! If you threw your problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, you'd grab yours back in a heartbeat."

-- LTM

Friday, February 25, 2011

Thought For the Day - Broke But Not Poor

"I've never been poor, only broke. Being poor is a frame of mind. Being broke is a temporary situation."

-- Unknown

Well I was poor for a long time growing up. And for a long time I had that frame of mind and felt I was a victim in life. When I realized that I was 100% responsible for my life and could take action to create my reality I was freed from that mind set. So I can never be poor again but only broke. What a freeing mindset to adopt.

John Duffy

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thought For the Day - Get Up

"It is not how you fall, it's how you rise from the fall that sets you apart from the rest."

-- Vince Lombardi

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thought For the Day - Steps to Success

"The steps to success might be tall and they may be long and both up and down ... but they are well worth it ..."

-- Bradley J Sugars

John Duffy's Personal Ramblings - Bucket List # 2 - Where I've been

This is a repost from last year to remind myself and set a fire under my a...

JD - Life's Bucket List Done To date

This is a work in progress that I will keep updating. I did it to look back to see where I've been so I can see where elese I want to go. It's not complete but it's a snapshot of my life.

Some Highlights - Moments in my Life - A Story of who I was, who I became, turning points, forks in the road and what I've done. Cha Cha Changes.......

Growing Up - South Bronx:

Grew up in Mott Haven section of South Bronx - "One of the poorest areas in America then and now"
Almost got thrown off Willis Ave Bridge between Harlem and Bronx @ Age 13
Dropped Out of High School at age 15
Studied Kung Fu Wu Su @ age 15. became student instructor
Designed and created own pants styles @ age 15
Had a gun put to my head 5 times - never shot

Lower East Side

Lived on 4th St and Ave A in Lower East Side in the 70's
Killed a rat with a stick in my Lower East Side Apartment
Observed the Blackout in 1977 on LES

Dropped out of HS at age 15
Received GED - General Education Diploma at age 24
Graduated Empire State college with a BA
Attended two years of MA program @ CCNY

Radical Years;

Became a leader in a Maoist Party @ age 25
Led a youth tour to the People's Republic of China in 1978 at age 25
Walked on the Great Wall in 1978
Became an ex-Maoist @ age 28

Working Life:

Worked 1st job as delivery boy @ local grocery @ age 13
Worked in Paint Factory as shipping clerk in the South Bronx
Worked in Chinatown as a shipping clerk
Worked in Post office as a Mail Handler for five years
Worked as a substitute teacher in the Bronx for 3 days
Worked as an Oral History interviewer for Lehman College
Drove a gypsy cab in the Bronx for 1 week - the summer that there was a wave of murders of gypsy cab drivers in the Bronx
Drove a truck for one week
Trained as a phone installer for NY telephone company
Wrote as a Youth Organizer in the Northwest Bronx
Worked as aerobics instructor and salesman for Jack La Lanne for 1 year
Worked as anti-arson organizer with The People's Firehouse in Brooklyn
Worked as a Research interviewer
Worked as a loan office for mortgage company in LA
Worked as a counselor for runaways @ Covenant House in LA
Worked as a overnight counselor at a mental health home
Worked as a counselor at a Food Shelter in South Central LA
Acted in theater, murder mystery dinner theater and films
Worked as a production manager on rap videos
Worked as a rep for music video directors
Worked as a line producer on feature films
Worked as a producer of feature films

Oral History;

Worked as an Oral History Interviewer with Bronx Oral History Project @ Lehman College
Conducted over 12 interviews that are part of Bronx Oral History Collection
Interviewed Oral Historian Studs Terkel
Was interviewed by Studs Terkel and interview appeared in his book "The Great Divide"

Acted in Murder Mystery Dinner Theater in LA and Palmdale
Acted in 10 Theatrical Plays in New York and LA
Performed in play based on interviews conducted entitled "The Bronx Speaks Up"
Wrote and performed autobiographical piece entitled "Goodbye My Friend" in honor of friend/girlfriend Cookie who died of AIDS @ LA theater
Acted in over 10 feature and short films


Created, Produced and Hosted 12 Public Access Show's "Take Two"
Created, Produced and Hosted 10 Public Access Show's "Bronx to Hollywood"
Filmed and directed documentary "V" about Puerto Rican female basketball player from Far Rockaway, NY
Produced/Line Produced 15 features, 4 shorts, 8 music videos, 2 commercials and training videos
Filmed feature films in South Carolina, Georgia "Who's Your Caddy?" and New Mexico "Unspeakable".
Line Produced a series of training videos with US Marine Corp @ Camp Pendelton, Beuford SC and Quantico VA


Walked across hot coals over a dozen times @ Tony Robbins' Fire-walks
Attended 2 week Tony Robbins Seminars in Maui 2 x


Wrote monthly article for Bronx radical newspaper "White Lightning"
Wrote Drama Screenplay "Waiting for Fidel"
Wrote autobiographical theater piece "Goodbye my Friend"
Wrote short film "Goodbye My Friend"
Created and wrote a daily Motivational Blog - "The Glass is 3/4's Full" since 2007
Created and wrote a Irish-American Blob " Duffy Square"
Wrote 1st draft of my memoir "Black irish - Not Your Average White Boy"
Wrote and created Doc series and Non-Fiction Book "American Dreamers'


Got married in Long Island NY 17 years ago
I held my daughter in my arms and cut her cord when she was born
Attended many Mommy and me groups with my daughter
Rode horses with my 3 year old daughter on top of Hollywood sign
Vacationed with family in Maui
Vacationed with family in Santa Fe New Mexico
Had snowball fights with my daughter in Santa Fe on her first encounter with snow
Attended family reunion in Foxford Ireland St. Patrick's Day 2008
Rode horses with my daughter thru Ashford Castle and the standing sets from John Wayne's "The Quiet Man" 2 separate times.
Read to my daughter almost every night since she was little
Created and wrote in a series of Journals for my daughter that capture the Magic


Walked on the Great Wall In PRC in 1978

Traveled and visited the following States: 1. Oregon, 2. Hawaii 3. Nevada 4. New Jersey 5. Connecticut 6. Mass 7. South Carolina 8. Colorado 9. Vermont 10, Mich. 11. Illinois 12. New Mexico 13 Georgia 14. California 15. Penn 16. Utah 17. Texas 18. Ohio 19. Florida 20. Virginia 21. Maryland 22. Indiana 23. Wisconsin 24. Washington and Wash DC and Puerto Rico

Traveled and visited the following Countries: 1. China 2. Yugoslavia 3. Dominican Republic 4. Mexico 5. France 6, Bahamas 7. Canada 8. Ireland 9. Northern Ireland 10. Malta

Visited friend in Dominican Republic and stayed at Casa del Campo Resort

Rowed a row boat in San Francisco Harbor

Vacationed with girlfriend in Puerto Rico

Vacationed with girlfriend in Quebec

Went on Helicopter ride in Maui

Went Scuba Diving in Maui

Scouted for movies in the Bahamas, Eleutria, Tijuana Mexico, Puerto Rico and Vancouver Canada

Stayed @ El Convento Hotel in Old San Juan Puerto Rico

Visited parent's country Ireland 2 times in 3 years reuniting with my Irish family from 5 countries

Stayed in Presidential Suite @ Ashford Castle, Cong, Ireland


750 -1,000 Books on

Saw numerous plays on Broadway and off Broadway including some of the following:

Glen Garry Glenn Ross
Cuba and His Teddy Bear starring Robert Diniro


Volunteered @ Anthony Robbins Foundation Youth leadership Camp
Volunteer @ Operation Gratitude

Public Speaking:

Overcame extreme shyness
Gave 1st public speech in 1970's in Chicago
Spoke of Filmmking Panel for Flash Forward
Gave warm up speeches for sales seminars for Tony Robbin's reps
Joined Toastmaster and gave 3 speeches

Like Helen Keller said "Life is a Daring Adventure or It Is Nothing". My life has been a Daring Adventure and the adventure continues as I continue to create and recreate myself

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thought for the Day - Mental Attitude

"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude."
-Thomas Jefferson