Independent Travelers – Driving a Vintage Alfa to a Great Hotel/Restaurant in Tuscany, Italy

Who Are These Guys?

Okay, let’s talk about the movie first and then let’s talk about our own personal Bucket Lists. For sure, no matter what our ages are; we all should have dreams.

The Story Line.

The movie opens when Carter (Morgan Freeman), a Master mechanic, receives a phone call from his doctor while he’s at work, informing him that he has cancer. Edward Cole (Jack Nicholson) gets his cancer warning unexpectedly when he coughs up blood in a business meeting. He’s rushed to the hospital he just bought (no kidding). When he demands a private room, his assistant reminds him that he’s said very publicly many times before: “I run hospitals, not health spas. Two beds to a room; no exceptions.” So, Edward has a roommate: Carter.

We learn that Cole is a brilliant, billionaire businessman. But, he doesn’t intimidate his roommate. Carter has a mind like a steel trap. He’s a PhD. in disguise. (You’ll see what I mean if you watch the movie.) The two men start a conversation.

Through their talk Edward learns that Carter has raised three children: a tax attorney, an engineer and a symphony violinist. Think of it: all that education on a car mechanic’s salary; talk about a high value.

Carter asks, “Do you have children?” Edward says, “I never stayed married long enough.” Carter replies, “Don’t worry, I’ve been married long enough for the both of us.” Edward: “How’s that goin’?” Carter, straight-faced, “It’s goin.” Cole says, “I’ve been married four times ’cause I love being married; only problem is, I love being single, too. Hard to do both at the same time. Only successful marriage I’ve had is with my work; started making money when I was sixteen.”

Carter says, “I always wanted to be a history professor and I made it through two semesters of City College before Virginia, my wife, gave me the news; I was young, black, broke, baby on the way; I took the first decent job that came along. I always meant to go back but 45 years goes by pretty fast.” (Yes, it does.)

This conversation is the start of their friendship together. They play cards, they talk; they get to know each other. And, a defining moment: Edward happens upon a list that Carter made originally in his freshman college class 45 years earlier: a Bucket List.

Edward, of course, thinks Carter’s list is too tame; Edward is a world-traveled risk-taker. He thinks the list needs more excitement. And, definitely, Edward thinks they should “do” the list NOW; “It beats sitting around waiting to die,” says Edward.

So, Edward convinces Carter to go on the trip with him. Carter’s wife protests vigorously. But, Carter says he thinks he’s earned some time for himself and so off he and Edward go. Carter, who tells this story, says, “And so it began.”

They skydive, drive racing cars, and travel in Edward’s private aircraft to eat caviar in France. They visit Cairo, drive through packs of wild animals in Africa, see the pyramids, motorcycle on the Great Wall of China, travel part way to the top of “Carter’s mountain” (can’t reach the top; there’s a storm) and finally end up in Hong Kong where they expect to buy silk suits and eat Black Walnut ice cream. But unexpectedly, Carter asks to go home. And, so they do.

Once there, Carter has a short time with his family. But, too soon he collapses and goes to the hospital where he waits to be operated on: without much hope. Carter dies on an operating table. He’s dead at 66 but thankfully, not before he had a last joke on Edward. (It’s about the coffee that Edward loves, but you really have to see the movie and share the laughs). By the time Carter died, they’d almost completed their shared Bucket List but not quite.

A Deeper Look.

This is a love affair between the two men. But, maybe I see it that way because my feelings were so caught up with the deep friendship. No, not a sexual love affair. But, the kind where two complete strangers bond quickly and become deeply attached to each other. These two became brothers in a very short time.

Some article I read called the movie a “buddy flick.” But, I think that diminishes not only the movie’s messages but the performances as well. I think she didn’t “get it.”

So, what were the messages? Actually, quite a few.

First, these two men are both the Superiority personality. Why do I say that?

(1) They’re both experts in their work areas.
(2) They both have heavy goals.
(3)They are both intense and thorough thinkers.

But, at the same time, they are very different because they have different values .

Carter is deeper. He’s spiritual; he questions the purpose of life. He’s a man who values relationships, who values commitments and has principles by which he lives. While he’s clearly impressed by Edward’s wealth and the mind that makes it possible, he remains steadfast in his own beliefs and values. For sure, so steadfast that he challenges Carter quite a few times on their journey together. Two of the questions Carter asks Edward along the way are:

(1) Have you found joy in your life? And,
(2) Have you given joy to others?

Edward, on the other hand, is harder, lives “on the surface,” doesn’t trust. He’s impatient with feelings, stinging with words and definitely not spiritual. He loves money, status, comfortable living BUT by the end of the movie, he also loves Carter. Edward speaks at Carter’s funeral saying, “The last three months of Carter’s life were the best three months of mine.” During those last few months Edwards opens up; he trusts Carter. Why not? The man is genuine to his core.

If you’re a person who looks for a deeper meaning in movies or books or life, I think you’ll really enjoy The Bucket List.

Warmest regards until next time,


Joan Chamberlain is an author, therapist, and life coach with over 30 years of experience helping adults, couples, and teens. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Finance, a Bachelor’s in education, and a Masters in individuals, couples, and family counseling. Her book, Smart Relationships, has helped many people achieve the self-awareness needed to see themselves honestly. Its wisdom has helped them work toward improving their relationships with themselves, their friends, and their families

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How to Choose Bucket Displays For Every Kind of Store

Bucket display racks are extremely convenient for both you and your customers. These kinds of display fixtures include both the tools to hold your merchandise (the buckets) as well as the tools to help you display them (the racks), so creating the display takes very little effort.

However, there are numerous kinds of bucket racks and each kind is going to work best with a certain kind of merchandise and in a certain area of your store or business.

Below are three steps to help you get started. Ultimately, each step is connected to the final one: Deciding which bucket display rack will work best with your store’s display space and the merchandise you want to display.

Step One: Take a Look at Your Store’s Display Space

Do you want to situate a display near your store’s checkout counter? Do you want to create a display along one of your store’s walls, or somewhere on the store’s floor?

You can find bucket display racks in a variety of styles and sizes (see below), and before you make a selection you need to evaluate how much display space you have.

Step Two: Consider Your Merchandise

As mentioned above, bucket display racks – and the buckets they come with – are available in numerous sizes and styles; however, no matter what size you choose, these display fixtures generally work best for displaying small kinds of merchandise like:

Wrapped candy, whether it’s individual pieces of candy, gumballs, suckers or lollipops, candy bars, and even novelty candy.
Convenience items like lighters, eyeglass repair kits, on-the-go sewing kits, and travel-sized hygiene products.
Souvenir items like key chains, seashells, and stickers.
Craft and hobby items like buttons, beads, sewing and knitting needles, spools of thread, glue stick refills for glue guns, and containers of glitter or sequins.
Home repair items like screws, bolts, nuts, and nails.
Children’s toys like bouncy balls, yo-yos, and small stuffed animals.
Note that because the buckets are available in different sizes, you should take stock of the merchandise you plan to display in the buckets before you select your bucket display.

Step Three: Understand the Different Kinds of Bucket Display Racks

Now that you know where you want to situate your bucket display and which merchandise you want to display in it, it’s time to get familiar with the different kinds of bucket display racks.

Depending on where you want to situate your display and how much space you have to work with, you might want to use:

Rotating buck racks, which are great for floor displays and point-of-purchase, or POP, displays.
Countertop bucket racks, which work well as display fixtures for your checkout countertop or any other counter or table top in your establishment.
Free-standing bucket racks, which are similar to rotating bucket racks in that you can situate them any place on

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