Living One’s Dream In the Highlands
by Steve Galea
October 11, 2025
Dan the Man
It is early morning, October 11, 2025. The weather was clear, sun starting to crest the horizon lighting up natures array of Fall colours, as I prepared to leave my office to head over to Wilberforce.
A local chap, Known as Dan the Man Linkert. Has been turning heads to a way of life mostly shared by the wealthy. How did he do it? What is his secret? So many questions. While I better be off.
The time is 8:45am as I drive around the bend approaching my destination. I can’t help but notice the cedar hedge that runs parallel to the highway like a blockade around a castle, cloaking what looks to be a vibrant front yard blanketed in an array of flowering trees, shrubs and numerous dinner plate size lily trees. As I pulled off of the highway my eyes caught the road sign. “LINKERT ROAD” Could only make you wonder, for just down the street you will find Linkert’s Bakery, a well established name in the community.
I pulled into the driveway as Dan was just coming around the east corner of his house carrying a basket of freshly picked vegetables.
“Hungry.” he says, as I step out of my car. It was early and I did miss breakfast.
“No thanks,” I replied, ” Is that what you have for breakfast? ” I asked.
“No. ” replied Dan as he smiled. He was dressed in jeans and T-shirt with a large bib like apron around his waist.
“How bout a coffee, while I show you my gardens? ” he says as he sits the basket by the front steps just under the shade of the carport. “These are for our local food bank here in town” he adds. As he steps inside to fetch the freshly brew cafe.
“Thats great! A garden that pays.” I remarked. As he handed me mug.
“No Steve, it is all free to them,” says Dan as we head for the back yard. “a little payback for a time they helped mother and I out in 06.”
“Oh how so? Or do you mind me asking?”
“Not at all Steve. You see when I worked at Hunter’s sawmill it burnt in 06 if you recall.”
“Yes I do Dan. A sad time for all. I did’t realize you worked there.”
“Well Steve the food bank provided all the employees with food vouchers for a full year, and I promised myself that some day I would pay the favour back. Was never able to till a few years back.”
Dan seemed to choke a little as he said that. As we walked through his gardens, I noticed his mother in the front yard be tending to the followers.
“That is mother’s domain.” Dan said as if he read my mind. The vegetables in the back yard I couldn’t help but notice where shadowed by cedar arbours and assorted woodwork benches.
“Are these all your work Dan? ” I asked while the arbours stood like guards showing the way through the maze.
“They sure are! Built them right here out of my workshop. I always wanted to do woodworking but could never make the time.”
His face lit up like a roman candle full of pride as he told me the story behind each piece.
“So Dan I have to ask. How did all this come to be? It must have taken lots of time and money and yet my sources tell me you spend all your time helping others. What is your story?”
Dan smiles, looks a little reluctant to say, then.
“Lets go inside and top up that coffee Steve, getting a little warm out. I’ll tell you a little secret.” He grins and winks an eye.
We walk around to the west side of the house and I stop in my tracks. How did I miss this when I drove up? On the end of Dan’s house you will see what appears to be a Diesel Train Engine coming out of the house.”
“Dan! What is happening here? I said with concern.
Dan starts laughing. “Eye catching isn’t it Steve?”
“it sure is Dan. You don’t see this every day”
“We’ll go in here Steve. This is one of my life long passions.”
We walk into a another 12×30 room full of models. Dan continues.
“This is may solitude. A place of calm and where I can always be a child without question.”
“Well that explains the annual train show you are involved in. You have done a great job Dan. Tell me what prompted having an engine sticking out of your house?”
“Simple really Steve. It was the only way I could make the bay window look right. After all I wasn’t able to afford a real one at the time.”
We walk in to a spacious sunroom that houses several plants, setting on fake steps and hanging from the ceiling. A pellet stove stands at the ready for the long winter months to follow. You can almost picture the warmth from it’s flame.
Coffee in hand and some fresh veggies and dip prepared by Dan’s mother, Eva. Dan sits in his favourite forest green swivel rocker tucked into the west corner of the sunroom which gives him a clear view of the front yard.
“So! ” Dan says,” You want to know how I managed all this do you?” he chuckles.
“Yes I would, well I mean the people are saying you are constantly helping others obtain their dreams and volunteering for community events, like the restoration of Old #1 fire pumper back in 2015. Yet no body can tell me what your official job is.”
“Well it is simple really Steve.”
Dan takes another sip of his coffee, looks out the window then back at me.
“Where shell I start.” He ponders
“I have spent most of my life, like most, working many jobs in hope for that perfect one that will keep me in my old age.”
“And you found it! “I said eagerly to know more.
“Well sort of but not so fast. Steve” (laughs)
Dan puts up a hand as to whoa an oncoming car. He continues:
“You see, after the mill burnt, there where several years of stop and go and I couldn’t make ends meet. So I landed an extra job just down the street from me. I thought this was it. the perfect one. close to home and lots of fresh air and I got to meet lots of people. Anything to clear the mill dust out of my system.”
I interupted again:” You worked your way up the ladder to owning the business?”
“I wish;” Dan chuckled.”Not that it did”t cross my mind once or twice. I worked there in the summer and the mill in the winter, but still things where tight. I had very little time for myself.
“So one day the right offer came along and you jumped at it right?” I was interrupting again. A reporter’s nasty habit.
“Not exactly but you are on the right track.” Dan is always smiling.
“You see Steve I was working long hours and the stress level, well it was pushing the breaking point. I was seeing myself heading for my grave fast if I didn’t take control.”
” Wow! What happened?”
“That’s not important.” Dan stated. “What mattered was to opened my eyes and finally take charge of my life.”
A serious look came over Dan’s face and I knew what was coming next must be outstanding.
” How’s your coffee?” Dan said as he got up to get another cup.
“Fine thanks, don’t mind if I do.” I replied. Dan continued.
“That summer end when I was asked if I was coming back next year, I said no. I have other plans. My stress level was hitting the roof and I was not very popular at home.”
Dan looks over at his mother and she nods in agreement with a smile.
” So you are out of work and winter on it’s way, what next?”
” Well.” Dan continues.” You would think I was cutting my throat by firing the boss but, you have to remember I still had the mill to fall back on. Never burn all your bridges Steve. It was questionable as to when it would start up again, and it always did through the winter. Now is the time I told myself. You better take action and fast. I wasn’t getting any younger.”
The sun is now beaming in through the massive windows that line the front of the house like guards at the gate. Dan goes on, his voice is starting to shine with excitement like a child on the night before Christmas knowing whats to come.
” Now just to back up a step, you see for a number of years I go down to a friends place in Peterborough around the August long weekend where we just hang out and relax and unwind. Sort of a Sienfield weekend as we call it.”
” A Sienfield weekend?” I remarked.
( Laughing) “Yes a weekend all about nothing. Just good times and laughter enjoying the moment.”
” Sounds like fun.”
“Oh it is. Anyhow it was the end of the summer, 2014 when I decided to take control. I was so worn out that year while On the Terrace. That’s what we call it.I spent the majority of my visit sleeping. This was noticed by all. My dear friend Connie our lovely hostess decided to help me out.”
” The perfect job?” I remarked
” Now you are getting close, but no cigar yet.” ( Smiles)
I was really wondering what this illusive job was, Dan was keeping secret.
” Your killing me Dan please do tell” (laughter)
“As I was saying. My friend Connie went through some tough times health wise and and was’t getting the results she wanted, till a friend presented her with the opportunity that saved her life. It was this same opportunity that she presented to me in November 2014, at her home. I’ll cut it short.”
I’m finally going to know this secret. Steve flipped to afresh page on his leather bound note book.
” Her business opportunity is a network marketing home base business and yes I had my doubts like everyone else. But that is for another time.”
“So you are saying this isn’t your pot of gold?” Dan continues.
” Not so fast Steve, this business is just a tool, payment for services rendered if you will. I spent a year at the mill while trying to get prospects. I was too egar and lacked the skills. So Connie and her friend Linda started providing me with the skills to be learned. One thing I learned about networking is it takes time and lots of dedication. It was Nov 2015 when I was finally introduced to what you call the perfect job. It is really more than that.”
Dan’s face was starting to glow with energy I have only seen in people with great passion.
” I received an email from Linda about this guy who was known as the world’s laziest networker. I was thinking if he is that lazy and living his dream then why can’t I do the same. Right?
“And this guy is who?”
“Mark Januszewski.” Dan replies.
“You work for him?” I asked.
“No! He worked for me. I work for myself.” Dan chuckles
” What?” a bewildered look appears on Steve’s face thinking this doesn’t make sense.
“The network marketing as I said is only a tool to which I receive payment, financial payment that is. It does pay well if you do the work. No Mark J has his own style and is a big name among networkers. This email I said I got had to do with a coarse that Mark and his staff provided. It is through this coarse that I have been able to live the life I dreamed.”
” Hold on one minute Dan. What kind of coarse is this?”
“It is a Pay it Forward self discovery coarse.”
” Like the movie?”
” Exactly but with a few additions from Mark.”
“You are going to have to tell me about this coarse?”
” Sure Steve, but in another interview perhaps. (laughs) I’ll give you his website address.”
” So how does this work exactly?”
“Well in short it teaches you to think for yourself. You know the old saying you are what you eat, well this is more of, you are what you think. If you desire, and I mean really desire something you have to think about it, Believe in it as if you already have it, with feeling mind you. Then you need to write it down to put it in action, take the action required to attain it and the end result will be yours.”
” I am still puzzled. So you are saying what you have, the lifestyle you just thought it and it appeared?”
” Sort of but, it wasn’t that easy. It took work. lots of hard work. This is how I live my life. I provide a service to others and others render payment or service back. You know, you reap what you sew. My Immunotec business provides the money so I in turn can pay it forward.”
” Fascinating! Say Dan before I go, I noticed it is just you and your mother living here. Is there a special someone in your life?”
” I certainly hope so Steve. Looks like that is one thought I haven’t put into action yet.” (shake hands)
And there you have it folks. A life style built around paying it Forward.