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A California Love Story with John Thill

Episode 59

History provides the opportunity to study the past through the lens of the present, but what makes history so exciting for many of us is those moments when we truly feel transported back to those earlier days to see the world through the eyes of our predecessors–pioneers who laid the foundation for the lives we experience now. And the stories of the past become even more rich and vivid when they involve our own ancestors.
I’m excited to share my conversation with an author who transports us back nearly 100 years–to a time when the promise of southern California was just beginning. It was a time when the California coastline was still wild and uncharted, the beaches were pristine, and there was no traffic! And my guest allows us to experience the remarkable sights and sounds of these different times through a beautiful love story. Whether you’re interested in the history of California, romance, or how individuals can shape the course of history, you're going to enjoy my conversation with author John Thill.

About the Guest
John Wilcox Thill is the author of A California Love Story. It’s the romantic story of Ray and Dora, John’s grandparents recreated through a series of forgotten love letters from his grandparents’ courtship. Within their worn folds, John found a story that was both timeless and filled with emotion, all happening in an era in American history when the future of California was still taking shape. John is a graduate of San Diego State University and spent much of his career in managing and producing video content for large organizations. Later, he transitioned to corporate learning and development, and became a partner in a global talent development company.
What You’ll Learn
Life lessons about love, commitment, and hard work How much San Diego County, CA has changed over the last 100-years How this author painstakingly and lovingly created a critically acclaimed book
Social Links
Buy the Book on Amazon.
Connect with Dr. Mike:
Buy The Book!: Mission First People Always
Episode Minute By Minute:
0:02 A journey into the history of Southern California through the love story of Ray and Dora Wilcox.
1:40 Meet John Thill: Discussing his book "A California Love Story," based on his grandparents' love letters from the 1920s.
3:44 The Genesis of "A California Love Story": John shares how discovering a hat box full of love letters led to the creation of his book.
5:14 John discusses how the pandemic inspired him to finalize and publish the book.
6:32 Overview of "A California Love Story": A glimpse into the themes of dreams, love, and success captured through heartfelt correspondence.
9:14 Exploring the changes in Southern California's landscape and population through Ray's experiences.
13:43 Ray Wilcox’s Contributions: Discussing Ray’s involvement in real estate and his role in the development of Camp Pendleton.
16:57 Personal Growth Through Writing: John reflects on the lessons learned about persistence, community service, and family values during his writing process.
26:47 Insights into how John’s storytelling has moved audiences and the personal connections he has made.
30:24: John encourages listeners to consider their own legacies and the importance of documenting personal histories.

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