“Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another.” George Eliot Stepping forward, I extend my hand in greeting, saying, “My name is Rob Hackbarth, a member of the Midtown Optimist Club.”  Recognizing the name of our club, she cheerfully says, “the luncheon!”  Nodding my head, I warmly reply “Yes.”My wife Carol gives her a hug and seconds later we are walking up the aisle toward the rear of the church.  I whisper to Carol, “She remembered!” Carol insisted that we go to … [Read more...]

Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is important.” Steve Jobs We are busy people in a very busy world. Electronic gadgets consume us. A device has been created to do anything you want it to do. If it does not exist, just wait a few … [Read more...]

Do We Ever Graduate?

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."  Seneca the Younger We are hosting a graduation party for our oldest grandchild, Gabrielle. She has invited friends and we have extended invitations to many family members. Earlier this year, she walked across the stage to receive her diploma in Interior Design from Auburn University. A proud moment for parents and grandparents. Is it over? Absolutely not. It is only the beginning. She has just started on a new leg of her life. … [Read more...]


"Everything has two handles: one by which it can be born and the other by which it can’t.”    The Art of Living – Epictetus So often, I watch in utter amazement the reaction that we sometimes witness when people reply to a statement which they do not support. Before the paint dries, they are shouting at the top of their voice.  The opposing view, which may be part of the solution, is lost in the heat of the moment. Have you had such an experience? Perhaps, you were the originator of such an … [Read more...]

Life 360

“I learned early in sports that to be effective -- for a player to play the best he can play – is a matter of concentration and being unaware of distractions, positive or negative.” - Thomas W. “Tom” Landry As I watch in utter amazement, my wife Carol opens her Life360 app, (labeled as the ‘new Family Circle’), pointing to the geographical location of our daughter Kelly and her family. Data collected via satellites is transmitted into map icons on a display screen.  My astonishment is … [Read more...]

Pontoon Trip

“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom . . .” Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello Pulling away from the Caribe fuel dock, I safely idle our pontoon boat into the channel where other boats are moving in both directions near Perdido Pass, the scenic passageway entrance to the Gulf of Mexico. On the other side of the canal is popular Robinson Island, where a number of families have already gathered in small boats. After a few minutes in the idle only zone, and just past the signs … [Read more...]


“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.”  Helen Keller River, our Australian Labradoodle and a real member of the Hackbarth family, is traveling with us on a road trip to Jackson, Mississippi. Less than four hours from Mobile, the Capital of Mississippi is home to one of the terminal branches of Hackbarth Delivery Service (HDS). My wife Carol and I have planned this journey to personally say goodbye to Robert Moody, who has been with our company for over … [Read more...]

Please Forgive Me

“It is in pardoning that we are pardoned.”   Saint Francis of Assisi The first weekend in October is two weeks away. In 14 days from now, my life is going to dramatically change. I will never be the same. The year is 1976. My fiancé and future wife, Carol and I will be attending a marriage preparation program called Engaged Encounter (EE). Father Gallagher, the priest we have asked to witness our vows, has requested that we attend this marriage preparation. I do not want to go, but Father … [Read more...]

Daily Victory is Lifetime Success

The typical process in earning a college degree includes many steps during a four-year journey. Attending class, listening to lectures, and studying are among the requirements needed to pass exams. Requisite exams passed results in completing a course and the award of credit hours. Repetition of all these steps finally ends in qualifying for a degree.  This whole process, requiring many steps and daily effort, is a good example of what is needed for lifetime success. Lifetime success is daily … [Read more...]

Knock Your Socks Off

“The keys to brand success are self-definition, transparency, authenticity, and accountability.”   Simon Mainwaring, (social media consultant) My wife Carol and I started Hackbarth Delivery Service (HDS) with a complete dedication to exceptional service. The strategy was successful. Many years later, our company branded that original concept and named it Knock Your Socks Off service. Today, the huge customer response to this brand has verified the value. Branding is an important business … [Read more...]