It is June 2021, and I have in my hands my newly published book, The Walker Way. I have written the story of the beginnings of Walker Manufacturing, leaving the family farming operation in Kansas, and all of the journey that led to the Walker Mower business that we enjoy today. Across the years, people have asked about the company’s history, and as I have told the story, there would be the occasional comment, “You ought to write a book.” So finally, with some of my duties at the company being handed off to the next generation, I started writing the book a little over a year ago.
Since the story starts over 60 years ago, the telling of some of these events may be getting better with time, and some of the hard things we faced are not so heavy as they once were. I believe that telling of a journey, telling stories, and telling lessons learned is all wound up in the giving of ourselves to be a help to others on their journeys. As is often said, “You can’t make this stuff up,” and the best stories are the real stories that have been lived in their times and circumstances.
For people of faith, we believe that God created each of us with a plan in mind for our life—it is up to us to discover the plan and live our life to the fullest extent of God’s plan. Of course, mistakes are made, and human frailty often is a part of the story, and that needs to be told, as well, so that lessons can be learned, and mistakes not repeated.
I like to write and tell stories, but writing a book and getting it in print has turned out to be much more than that. There is a whole team of people to whom I am indebted for their help and giftedness in making this book come to life. I want to give special recognition to my long-time friend and editor, Rod Dickens, who co-wrote the book with me and helped make the manuscript easy to read. Rod is a gifted writer, editor, and storyteller. We first met when Rod was the chief editor for several publications in the landscape maintenance and outdoor power equipment industries, and ultimately the publishing company he worked with became the publisher of Walker Talk magazine—Rod was the primary editor for all 56 previous issues of Walker Talk. I am very grateful for Rod’s collaboration in producing this book.
Another motivation for writing down our journey is to help the company move into the future with family leadership. Future family leaders can be helped on their journey by building on the business foundation laid by their forebears and taking note of the earlier times and lessons learned. The times will be different for each generation, but time-tested principles will still guide and show the way—The Walker Way.
Bob Walker, Chairman
PS: The book may be ordered in paperback and hardback versions at walkerware.com. Also, paperback, e-book (Kindle), or audio-book are available from Amazon.