What We Learned About Men

By eaholmes in Perspective

We started off our foray into the minds of men with Eric Holmes providing his story “My Education in Freedom” about how his experience working as a gas station attendant on the Oregon Coast shaped him into the man he is today. Readers found his tale of aggressively finding a full time job at 15, out from under the protective wing of his family business, inspiring and unique. Ryan said “Your beyond-your-years drive to become a man reminded me of my grandfather, who got his first job at a very young age for the sole purpose of buying himself a bed that he didn't have to share with his brother." Eric recalled the details of shards of memories that defined his experience and created a fully realized portrait of his time behind the pump. Jennifer commented, “Wouldn't it be fun to be an English teacher and assign this piece as a prompt?" We have to agree with her.

Next up was a lively piece from Gretchen Lieberman, mother of three boys from Eugene, Oregon, telling us about the Daring Boys’ Club she started in her town. She explored how our culture’s views on raising boys has changed and found that she “wanted something that would challenge them in areas they might not explore on their own and encourage them to be strong, daring, creative, and courageous in the broadest sense of those terms.” Gretchen bravely waded in to crafting an alternative to the mainstream boys’ activities, such as Boy Scouts. The result being a place for the boys to feel comfortable experimenting with new experiences and gaining confidence and camaraderie with their fellow club members, as they learn how to be men. Chris, who has two grandsons in the program, said “Thank you Gretchen and everyone else who is involved. My grandsons have had their lives enriched tremendously.”

Our final perspective of the month came from Ryan Woods, a young father who has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and has been blogging about his experiences at The Grassroots Conspiracy. We here at Broadsheet 360 have been captured by his story. Ryan allowed us to run his blog post about buying a new car for his wife and all that symbolizes, for the here and now and for the future they are contemplating without him. We found Ryan’s words so moving and a glimpse into his life events that most of us can’t even begin to wrap our minds around. He writes with humor and refreshing honesty, he’s not a guy that has all the answers, but we are sure are grateful he’s sharing his search for truth with us. Thank you Ryan.

It’s been a great month here at Broadsheet 360, our Man Issue was a huge success and our readership has increased beyond our projections. Thanks, in part this month, to our incredibly popular Q & A piece 50 Shades of Guy, our interview with Paul Rager, a real live man willing to go on the record that he not only has read the Grey trilogy, he’s recommending it to everyone. We’ve got some new additions coming up this summer that we’re thrilled to be sharing with you over the next few weeks. See you back here next week as we share our contributors take on The Backseat Issue.


Elizabeth Holmes has finally taken her own advice and is pursuing her passion for words. In addition to her role at Broadsheet 360, she's co-producer of "Anecdotal Evidence" a storytelling series, wife, mother, writer and whatever else tickles her fancy. Erma Bombeck is her spirit animal.

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