Washington Post: Buried underground gave him time to think about a second career in Americana

March 21, 2016

The more I do this, the more I like hearing stories about how people figure it out. “It” being life, betterment, the path to success. photo by J. Lawler Duggan/For The Washington Post Eddie Papczun’s path was non-traditional. Part of his life took him 100 feet beneath the Midwest prairie, where the 55-year-old former Cold War warrior served as a launch officer for a bunch of nuclear missiles. From humble beginnings, with guidance and motivation from the Air Force, he became a guy who started with nothing and now sells to people who have everything. The Air Force “was a confidence-builder . . . being part of something that was greater than me,” he says. Papczun owns the Great Republic, a guys’ store... Continue Reading →

The Origins of Uncle Sam

October 25, 2015

Just who is this cat named Uncle Sam, anyway? For nearly two centuries he's been an American pop culture icon,  peering down at us on posters along with the caption "I Want You." But where did the character come from? Would you believe a meat packing plant? Sam's origins can be traced back to a meat factory in Troy, NY around 1812 (which was even before I started my company.) The factory manager's name was Sam Wilson. An army contractor named Elbert Anderson would purchase the meat in large oak barrels that were stamped "E.A.-US." One day while buying his meat, he asked someone in the factory what the US stood for and the worker replied "Uncle Sam", referring to... Continue Reading →


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