Today is Josh’s Birthday

Due to lead times in magazine publishing, I am writing this on May 18th for the July issue. I get in trouble with Jeff Harder, our managing editor, if I don’t turn in my column on time. Jeff gave me a deadline of Monday, May 21st. This works well for me because I prefer to write on weekends. Plus, I learned a few days ago that Jeff was spending the weekend in the Azores with his wife, Siobhan, and would not be back in the office until Tuesday. So, he will never know if I made the Monday deadline as long as I have it on his desk by Tuesday morning.

Josh was born on May 18,1994, at Falmouth Hospital, the first member of our Shortsleeve family to be born on Cape Cod. So, he turns 19 today. He is a little older than many of his classmates graduating from Bourne High School in two weeks.

Judy and I had him repeat a year when we did not feel that he was ready for first grade. Josh has often reminded me that he would be further along in this or that, if we had not kept him back. At that point I always remind Josh that we would not have done so if he had been working to his potential while in kindergarten.

Actually, it has worked out: Josh has done well in school. Just this past school year, Josh participated in a dual-enrollment program at Cape Cod Community College; he earned credit for his senior year of high school and, also, almost all of his first year of college. Sean Burke, Josh’s guidance counselor at Bourne High School, recommended this program for Josh. We are all very lucky to have Sean Burke guiding the students of Bourne High.

For some time now, Josh has been saying that he wants to pursue a career in business. I keep reminding him that business is not all “executive lunches.” But Judy and I encouraged Josh, since he had the opportunity, to take classes at the college including “Accounting 101.” I just wanted Josh to first learn the basic language of business. He plans to major in business at a college located within reasonable walking distance of good surfing, and he has already been accepted to a few.

I suggested to Josh that in lieu of the cost of education that he consider working in business for one year to get a better idea of what aspect of business he would like to pursue and study. Then he could come out of college prepared to work at something that he knows is important to him. He said, “Fine, Dad, why don’t I go to the Bahamas for one year and work as a surfing instructor?” Judy and I replied that since he feels he would like to pursue “sales and marketing” that perhaps some work with that particular focus might be a more worthwhile experience.

Today is Josh's Birthday

He and I are talking about Cape Cod LIFE and some sales and marketing projects that I have in mind. We will see. I think Josh would do well in sales. Ever since he was very young, he has always related well to adults. Several years ago, when Josh was maybe 13, a friend of mine on Cuttyhunk said of Josh: “How many kids his age can walk up to an adult, look them in the eye, shake their hand, and ask ‘How was your winter?’ and mean it? And then carry on a conversation?”

I always give Judy flowers on both Josh and Max’s birthdays. Josh took the photo above.

My best,


Brian Shortsleeve, President and Publisher

P.S. I won’t know until the end of the summer for sure what Josh wants to do. For this summer, on the island of Cuttyhunk, he has his own summer rental and work, all within reasonable walking distance of good surfing.


Brian Shortsleeve

Brian Shortsleeve is the President and Publisher of Cape Cod Life Publications.

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