Hey life’s a journey, right? When we explore our Country and the world, we gain a new perspective. It’s both enlightening and fun, that’s why we love to travel! Traveling takes us away from the familiar and into a new world, at least it is new to us.

As we explore, ideas begin to pop up in our minds, perhaps little ideas and perhaps life changing ones too. Like traveling, books and documentary films can provide a vivid escape from our challenges. They can also offer exciting solutions as well. They could help you get into the pioneer-mindset by sparking your imagination and helping you solve a particular challenge. In Episode #5 of our podcast I shared a story about an unusual journey. The story is about an outcast that took a circuitous road to seek justice and a lifetime of happiness. You can hear the entire story on our podcast and read it in Chapter 4 titled, “Finding 24” in my book, Buttonwood 24.

Why not make a list of the places you would like to visit? It’s easy to start right where you live, then one by one visit the places across America, Europe and wherever you dream to go! I’m just reminding you of the things you already know. Have a goal, plan and save. You can do it!

I find it interesting that no matter where we go each city, town and region takes on their own unique personality,don’t they? It’s the same as when we read about pioneers and watch documentaries featuring pioneers and the places they came from and often discovered. The dialect, accent and social mores change over time all around the world, and it’s been that way since the beginning of time. Why not begin to plan your next journey, today.

Explore America!

You can subscribe to our podcast and watch the film and book trailers at, and

Copyright© 2023 Morton Imagine Company

Pain & Gain


9/11 will live on in our hearts and minds. We all witnessed the horror that day and we still remember where we were, the moment we heard the tragic news. So many first responders lost their lives in order to save others. Did the terrorists defeat us? Nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives, and what came next was stunning. We all bonded together, for a while as one unified nation. The American Spirit prevailed. Pain has a way of bringing out the best and at times the worst in all of us. It shouts out, do something! The area in pain is shouting something needs to be addressed.

When Henry Flagler lost his Flagler York Mining Company in 1865, he could have given up and become a faded memory. Instead, he took that pain, moved forward, got back into the grain business and then partnered with John D. Rockefeller. Standard Oil would make Flagler one of the wealthiest me in the world and Rockefeller the richest man in the world. Without Flagler who knows what Florida would be like today. As the number one tourist destination in the world, it all began with Flagler and his imagination. What’s your challenge? Will you let the pain win?

We have so many stories that can inspire us. In Season 2, Episode #4 of our podcast, I shared a love story about Country Girl and City Boy. City Boy grew to be very wealthy, owning several businesses and was a multi-millionaire! When the economy collapsed, he held on as long as he could but he lost everything. He was totally wiped out. The pain was tremendous for both of them and the family. He could have given up but he chose to learn from this experience and clawed his way back up and became a Partner of one of the largest agencies of its kind in America! (Tune into Episode #4 and find out who City Boy and Country Girl really are).

Don’t give up, history provides a pathway, just jump on it and let your imagination guide you to where you want to go.

Explore America!

You can subscribe to our podcast and watch the film and book trailers at, and

Copyright© 2023 Morton Imagine Company

Meet Chris Belland


Mr. Chris Belland is an author, Wharton graduate, columnist, real estate developer and CEO/Founder of Historic Tours of America.

Known as America’s Storyteller, Historic Tours of America operates in seven historic cities, with over 2 million guests a year. The tours provide context and historical facts about the rich American history along each and every historic location. I highly recommend checking them out.

Chris’ passion for history began when he was a child, after his Dad took him to the Barnacle House in Miami. He was fascinated with the people and stories behind the old house.

The pioneers and pages of history have always inspired Chris. He combined his passion for history with an appetite for entrepreneurship while he was still a child. Joining a friend he’s known since the 8th grade, the business adventure spand from antiques to documents.

Chris has some advice for our youth. Choose something you truly love doing and everything will fall into place, including money and happiness.

Check out my interview with Chris on our podcast,History Means Business® with Rod Lance Morton, you won’t be disappointed!

To learn more about Historic Tours of America visit,

Explore America!

You can subscribe to our podcast and watch our film and book trailers at, and

Copyright© 2023 Morton Imagine Company



As you and I know, social mores and technology changes. It’s important to look back and see where we came from and how we arrived today.

To actually touch more than a painting, photograph or pages in a book. Statues are a way to help us connect with the pioneers that paved the way, on a different level. We don’t dwell on the past, we learn from it and move forward.

I would not like the story of my life, if one were to ever write such a story, to focus on my shortcomings and failures and completely dismiss all the things I got right. Would you?

We try to get it right the next time and learn from our mistakes. That’s what we as Americans do today and what we have done in the past.

So let’s think for a moment, why is America great? I understand, the list is long. As you think about your reasons, remember we are a unique Republic governed by the people that you and I appoint. We the people have the power. We have our say, our voice via the men and women we elect, as you know of course.

Our Founding Fathers were inspired by the great minds in history, as they themselves were in this elite class. Cicero’s writings, 2000 years ago, inspired them, as they were laying the foundation. Freedom, they understood, was at the center of this foundation.

Cultural change can take time. The idea of liberty, “freedom” for all was merely a dream for generations and generations.

Slavery for example, dates back to before recorded history. In 17th century Britain, it was big business and part of civilized culture around the world. African leaders and traders rounded up their fellow man and sold them across the globe. Slavery would end in Great Britain during the 1830’s and in America, obviously in the 1860’s.

America battled for freedom, we wrote our Declaration of Independence from a foreign power. The Civil War was all about freedom and unity. The definition of this freedom depended on dividing factors. In the end, freedom from slavery and freedom for all Americans under one nation prevailed.

We now have a divide among us that has been brewing for years. Just as it did in the 18th and 19th centuries.

I’m sure you love America as much as I do, because we know and understand her history. We know who we are today and look forward to an even better tomorrow. Because of our history, and the sacrifices that have been made, we have that freedom.

Remember, camping in an RV or tent is a great way to explore America! If camping isn’t your cup of tea, the hotel business is ready to receive you with open arms.

Explore America!

You can subscribe to our podcast and watch our film and book trailers at, and

Copyright© 2023 Morton Imagine Company



So much of what we cover is simply a reminder, a way to jog your memory and encourage you to take action and understand you are not alone.

You know darn well that History Means Business® to you on many levels. We’ve already explored the wilderness and cultural activities, why not seek out the statues that were dedicated and erected, along the way? Why were they important to the towns, cities, regions and our nation? Check them out as you continue to explore. The rest of us can dream of past journeys and plan our next destination.

We’ve already explored some of the American pioneers that helped pave the way for this great nation. History Means Business® when we have the pioneer-mindset, (worth repeating). Like any mindset, it takes time to form a habit in order to get to that point, it takes vigilance to maintain. Fortunately, we have plenty of American pioneers, past and present, for inspiration. You are at the very top of this list! Remember to focus on your past experiences and tap into others that can really inspire you and help you grow! No matter how young or how old you are, you and I can always grow.

We can always gain a new perspective, as you know, when we look at a situation from a different lens. The American story obviously includes you and it includes me. It includes all of us as Americans, past and present. Some of us are just a number, a statistic included in everything that makes up our lives and those that came before us. At least on paper. I would assume want more, I know I do for sure.

I am not expressing or even eluding to you that I have the answers for you. That’s not at all what I’m stating. You and I decide what we focus on and how each of us see circumstances from the past in similar ways to what is going on and has happened in the world you live in, it’s unique to you and to me. Pain however, winning and losing isn’t unique to you, nor to me, is it?

Let’s take a look at what has happened this year in parts of America and, in some cases, still happening. American history has been under attack. Statues and monuments damaged, destroyed or taken down in far too many cities across this country. People can try as they want, but they cannot destroy our history. It is a part of you and me, we will carry it forward into the Ages. It belongs to all Americans, we experienced it through the veins of our ancestors. The wisdom of our fellow Americans, can never be underestimated. We will never let the misinformed, violent or otherwise tear down and destroy the very people that helped build us up in the 1st place.

The statues and monuments being destroyed or those they desire destroyed are often symbols of our great nation at various stages in our history. It shows our growth, our changes for good and a better way along the way. Like slavery, it’s a snapshot of the men and women i.e., the pioneers, that paved the way for change. It is a window into the past of our social mores and values.

Until photography was invented in the 1840’s we only had statues, monuments and paintings to commemorate our heroes . Mathew Brady captured the images of a nation torn apart, brother against brother, tremendous pain to move America forward in a unified, right direction.

Statues and monuments continue to be a fitting way to honor those American icons that mean so much to the people that honored them, in that snapshot of American History.

As we look at a statue of Washington, Lincoln or perhaps Fredrick Douglas, the meaning we attach to such a dedication is limited to our own understanding of the person whose image we stand before. It has little context to the one with little understanding of why the men and women at that time, voted and sacrificed time and money to detail the creation of such a gift to future generations. In an instant, some inane decision by those lacking wisdom and void of reason and judgement with a foolish ideology destroy what had been intended for the Ages. Contemplate this as you continue your journey.

Explore America!

You can subscribe to our podcast and watch our film and book trailers at, and

Copyright© 2023 Morton Imagine Company



What’s causing you so much pain right now? What’s your challenge? You can turn to many books, programs, and gurus for possible solutions. We all have plenty of options and you’re capable, I understand. What I’m attempting to address here is one way, not the only way.

History does repeat itself. This is something we all understand and it’s right under our nose. Perspective and perseverance is hard to beat. American pioneers come in all shapes and sizes, not just found on the pages of history. They found a way, we know the outcome. Perhaps they can help you right now?

We often think of the American pioneers along with the Pilgrims that landed in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607 and Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620, when we hear the word pioneer. Think about this, our very first English settlement, Jamestown was established by entrepreneurs, seeking to create wealth and prosperity. Plymouth is a symbol of the Pilgrims quest for religious freedom. Both of these goals, we take for granted today.

They had no idea what they would face. They knew it would be a challenge, but just how harsh, they could not have known. Death and extreme hardship was all around them, they forged ahead and adapted as best they could. Captain John Smith and William Bradford left their fingerprints on the pages of history.

Pedro Menendez de Aviles however, beat them all to the New World and established America’s 1st permanent settlement, St Augustine in 1565. He claimed it for Spain. Now, did the pioneers and Pilgrims from 1565, 1607 and 1620 have the luxury of knowing their outcome? The pain and challenges they faced had to be met with how well prepared they were, physically and most importantly mentally. The same holds true today for you and for me.

Let’s take a look at an unusual pioneer, if there is such a thing. He is someone you probably don’t think of as a pioneer. He is not only in the news, he is the majority of the news today. He falls into two of the three areas of history we covered in the HMB Mango story. He can be found on the pages of history and as a senior, he’s part of “living” oral history. He’s the oldest person elected president at age 70, the 1st billionaire, non politician/military leader elected president in American history. The brash NYC real estate developer and hotel magnet has an empire spanning from New York around the globe. Obviously we are talking about Donald J. Trump. This is not a political angle, I must disclose this in today’s environment. For example, in our documentary film we explore JFK, Trump and Truman.

Remember, in the early 1990’s Donald Trump was over 900 million dollars in debt and sinking fast. He had to find a way or he was going to lose everything (Remember John DeLorean and many others lost it all). He told his wife at the time, Marla Maples, you see that homeless man over there? He is worth more than me. So, he negotiated with his creditors, made a deal, adjusted his business plan, changed his focus and within a few years was worth billions more than ever before and would go on to become the most powerful man in the world. Like him or not, this man knows who he is, has the kind of mental focus and work ethic we all could aspire to achieve.

The pioneer-mindset is how History Means Business®! It’s how you and I can solve huge, painful challenges, with a little imagination.

No matter how old you are, right now today no matter what your pain and challenge is, can you think of a way your most admired pioneer, past or present, might inspire you?

Remember, focus is critical. Focus on how they must have been thinking. What was driving him or her?

Explore America!

You can subscribe to our podcast and watch our film and book trailers at, and

Copyright© 2023 Morton Imagine Company



Pioneers faced the unknown and overcame huge challenges! When we try to put ourselves in their shoes and understand what they must have been thinking in order to succeed, we could solve our own huge challenge, but it takes a little imagination.

For example, President Washington and President Lincoln faced the ultimate wars, with battles of an unknown outcome for an entire nation. Death and bloodshed was all around them. They had to stay focused, for them it was the ultimate mental challenge. For Washington it was all about creating a free nation under God and for Lincoln, it was keeping the free nation under God in one piece and not divided.

In American business, we have examples of this mental challenge on a different battlefield. Isn’t so much of our lives all about mental focus? Haven’t you had a big fat problem that wouldn’t go away, until you changed how you looked at it?

In business, this is so true! You may not have heard of Henry Flagler, however most Floridians know the name. He is known as the Father of Miami, Palm Beach and St Augustine. He built his Florida East Coast Railway from St Augustine all the way down to Key West. Beginning in 1880, he built the Ponce De Leon Hotel in St Augustine and other spectacular hotels in Palm Beach and Miami.

He was an invaluable partner with John D Rockefeller at Standard Oil, he was wealthy, driven and very intelligent. He was a visionary, yet he knew pain too! Failure wasn’t foreign to him. As President Lincoln was communicating with his Generals during the Civil War, Flagler sold his distillery business and started a salt mining company (York), thinking it would be greatly needed for food preservation during the war. Things went well for a while during the war, until demand dropped off and price cutting drove him out of business. He lost everything! So, he dusted himself off, got a job as a grain merchant again and paid off over $100,000 and then would go into business with Rockefeller creating Standard Oil and the rest is history!

Florida is the world’s #1 tourist destination today! One man’s vision, pioneered America’s vacation capital, Henry Flagler.

We will share stories on this blog that could inspire you and spark your imagination. They’ve really inspired me!

As I mentioned earlier, Morton Imagine Company is all about mental focus. We’ve heard this before but it’s so easy to get off track (mental focus). This is why we will explore how American pioneers (including seniors), paved the way for all of us. Looking at history through their lens and imagining solutions for today’s challenges.

Explore America!

You can subscribe to our podcast and watch our film and book trailers at, and

Copyright© 2023 Morton Imagine Company


October 14, 2020

Our nation and the entire world has experienced historic, widespread pain and uncertainty. We will address just what could be causing you a great deal of pain and explore how history, yes history could help spark your imagination and possibly help ease your pain and help solve that fat problem you are facing.

Before we dive in, I want to share with you a story to tee things up and give you a window into what you can expect going forward. The title of our story is: HMB – Under a Mango Tree

“A little boy was sitting in his grandfather’s backyard, under a mango tree, listening to the elder man. As his grandfather told him stories about his past, a whole new world was opening up to this little boy.

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The story and subsequent stories all started in the Sixties, in Miami and live on, with a grown up little boy today. First of all, the elder man was born in 1902 and had lived a fascinating life. He was a highly successful entrepreneur at a young age and an aviator. He owned numerous airplanes and drove around Miami in a Packard during the Great Depression. He was highly intelligent, sober minded and giving. However, the elder man was known as being quite stern and a man of few words.

The little boy was warned by his protective and loving parents to stay away from his grandfather. They didn’t want the old man to hurt his feelings. However, the little boy approached the stoic old man at every family gathering. Eventually the old man grew fond of the little boy. Over time, the boy was visiting his grandfather, who lived only blocks away, several times a week. When he was only five years old, he scared his parents and got into big trouble for riding his tricycle on a major street, to visit his grandfather. He would later walk; ride his bicycle or drive, just to visit his grandfather.

Even at the age of five, his grandfather spoke to him like a little man. He enjoyed the respect his grandfather gave him. The conversations were all about the adventures and events that made up the story of the old man’s life. The stories often revealed history. For example, 7th Avenue, a major street today, was a dirt road when he was a newspaper delivery boy for the Miami Herald. (The newly renamed paper) As he listened to his grandfather, he learned not only his grandfather’s life story, but the oral and “living” history of Miami and his family heritage. In time, he began to understand the links in American history to what his grandfather was telling him. It was larger than his life, his family and Miami. The dots were connecting all over Miami, throughout America and the world. The stories would range from life during the Great Depression, to WWII and beyond. The boy began his first history lessons, through the eyes of his grandfather. The mutual respect they shared was palpable. His wife told the boy, out of all the people in the world, he was his grandfather’s favorite. This filled the boy with joy and sorrow, all at once. After all these years of living and all the great stories, no one came over to visit (except for his family). This bothered the boy profoundly and would actually plant the seeds to his future.

He actually admired his grandfather so much; he couldn’t wait to be old! He wanted to be just like his granddad. He was a man with integrity and character. Insults just rolled off of him.

This story between the boy and his grandfather can be found all over America. The names, dates and places are all different but the theme is constant. With our youth obsessed cultural and fear of aging, it’s no wonder seniors are not getting the respect and attention they deserve. The oral history and wisdom of a wise sage can bring unimagined mutual benefits and cultural change. Imagination is the key.

History Means Business® when we focus on three key areas. Starting with the oral history of wise seniors, like the old man in our story. The second key area is learning from the pages of history. As Winston Churchill once said, to learn about history, read biographies. Pioneers from the past can help spark our imagination and help solve some of our biggest challenges today. The social mores, landscape and technology changes, but the pain, joy and mental challenges are all the same.

The third and final area is our own personal history, including our business/industry history. When we explore our past challenges and examine the before and after events, a new way forward can often be found. Learning from pioneers in our industry can also provide ideas for tomorrow. Knowing how we arrived, can open a window to the future.

These three key areas are under the benefits umbrella of, finding solutions to our challenges (i.e. pain). Remember, the key that could unlock it all . . . imagination! Imagination transcends time and space.

The old man (grandfather) passed away at the age of 88. His wife followed him not long after. He never knew just how much he actually meant to that little boy. The boy told him he loved him but never found the words to express just how much he meant to him. The truth is, that little boy didn’t understand until years later, just what those stories and words of wisdom actually meant. With age and the perspective of time, a clarity and understanding had blossomed. His admonitions and advice had limited context in the boy’s youth. With experience, the boy began to understand just how much his grandfather truly loved him. A whole new meaning became clear, many years after he had passed away. This is sincerely a true story, after all I should know, that little boy was me.”

We may not know each other, but one thing I am pretty sure of is this, we have challenges! It is part of life and today, pain has been inflicted upon the world, few of us have been able to escape it entirely.

As you try to make sense of it all, and face this challenge, why try to reinvent the wheel? That’s a waste of time and energy isn’t it? History has proven social mores, technology and the landscape changes but the essence of being human remains constant . . . try having the pioneer-mindset!  

You can subscribe to our podcast and watch our film and book trailers at, and  



Covid-19 has generated so much pain, on so many levels. Dealing with this crisis and getting past the pain, will take mental focus. How can a little hint from the past, help you and I today?

“On November 19, 1863, The Gettysburg Address was given during one of the darkest hours in American history. Just months after the Union Army defeated the Confederate Army at the Battle of Gettysburg. Lincoln expressed his vision, from pain, the pain of America, with its meaning beyond measure.” – From the film, HMB History Means Business® America.

Abraham Lincoln would keep America whole. He faced the impossible challenge, but how did he really take on this challenge? He had resolved to win! He studied military history and he was prepared. He communicated with his generals and made the tough decisions. He fired McClellan and eventually elevated Grant. Lincoln had faith in God, himself and America.

What is your impossible challenge? Is pain all around you? Trust in your instincts, prepare, know you will succeed, have faith and meet this challenge, pain and all, right now!

Remember, President Lincoln had no guarantee of success. Don’t give up! Imagine a way and win!!

Rod Lance Morton – Director: HMB History Means Business® America

You can subscribe to our podcast and watch our film and book trailers at, and  

Copyright© 2023 Morton Imagine Company