Oct 28, 2016



Flash of Silver…the leap that changed my world

Question #47
Rite of Passage Seventeen –The Helpmate–
1961-1962 I am twenty-eight years old

Enthusiasm: Is this form of enjoyment in one’s occupation actually “entertaining”? Can it wear thin…eventually?

Back in the very early days of New Zealand television, in the 1960’s, there were several programs imported from the BBC (British Broadcasting). Two of them had a profound effect upon my life.

General Sir Brian Horrocks talked about the great battles of the world using a simple sand table model. Sir John Betjeman, at that time the British Poet Laureate, sat on a high stool and discussed such matters as marsh gas and its effect on British architecture!

What made these men so ‘watchable’ was their enthusiasm –they were totally passionate about their subjects and it made for splendid television.

It was their performances that gave Treena and I the understanding that I too should be an ‘enthusiast’ about each dish I presented and it was that change that took me out of “the most boring man in the world” category into which Treena had so engagingly placed me!

I had no audience for the show itself but I had the enormous benefit of a gathering of Treena’s actor friends, she was now doing plays for New Zealand Broadcasting, they came up to sit and critique my initial rehearsals and then eat the food.

In an attempt to amuse them, as well as inform, I would go off on tangents that meant nothing about the recipe…but everything about my enjoyment of…life.

During the actual solitary recording sessions I would recall the often raucous evenings at home and imagine that the camera was a friendly smiling, almost interactive human being.

It worked!

So…what about now?

As I gained experience over the years and an audience was added, the content began to change and at Treena’s insistence I relinquished the first six minutes of the ‘Galloping Gourmet’ series to engage the general, non foodie, audience.

Many years later a senior executive of the Food Network called Treena to thank her, “If you hadn’t done what you did with Graham,” he suggested, “We might never have had a Network like ours.”

I very much doubt that I would have been able to complete such a stream of programs over a 54 year period, had it not been for the mix of enthusiasm and audience feedback.

When I lecture about life and its choices I still feel that essential eagerness that comes along with enthusiasm.



We have a 13 year old chocolate lab in our family, her name is Pebbles, she has arthritis in her nether regions but when presented with a ball or a stick she is EAGER to run after it, find it and bring it back for another…deeply felt ‘chase’.

I love her eagerness in spite of her age and want to retain mine for as long as I am given the great gift of a responsive audience.

Today, in some places, there are personalities known for being ‘cool’ and so self-assured that they have no need for feedback. For them, it seems, enthusiasm is a bit over-the-top. It can be, or even become so, if it’s forced.

I am so grateful that I still have such joy communicating and really, I’ve never been eager to be…cool!

So, please tell me what you think in the comments below:


  • Is this form of enjoyment in ones occupation actually “entertaining”?
  • Can it wear thin…eventually?

This week I read Treena’s poem Glacier Bay


  1. Betty M. Bird Says: 10:46 pm

    Enthusiasm is so easy when you’re in your comfort zone, there’s something that is tinder for everyone’s fire that varies from person to person. That’s part of what being human is so great we can all do our own thing and share it with the rest of the world. I always enjoyed watching you as a teen, because I learned something new and saw there was more than one way to do things.

  2. Michael Fenwick Says: 10:52 am

    The word enthusiasm comes from the Latin “enthusiasmus” or the Greek “enthousiasmus” and means “divine inspiration”. So a person who is enthusiastic over something or someone is infused with the spirit of the gods. Enthusiasm is a good thing always. It enables one to overcome boredom, setbacks, self-doubts, and depression. One can reach his/her goals must easier with enthusiasm. So-called “forced enthusiasm” is not really enthusiasm at all, but rather a cover up of insecurities. Others can easily see through such a charade. Your enthusiasm for life and your passion for cooking definitely show on your programs and on this website. Thank you for giving us, your fans and friends, divine inspiration, Mr. Kerr.

  3. Chuck Anderson Says: 12:01 pm

    Your enthusiasm is what makes you entertaining and draws people in. We all want to watch someone who enjoys what they do; your sincerity is what makes you exceptional in all you do. It is so refreshing to see a person living with sincerity, especially in this hyped up world. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Lynn Severance Says: 1:03 pm

    Graham, a word of encouragement (hand typed as that is how this blog sharing works). Just “pretend” it is handwritten for if I could, I would! 🙂

    I believe all of us get caught (and hate that we do) in the world’s focus on data and numbers. Never has this been more prevalent than in the “demands” of social media. We fall into the trap that the small (to us) things we are doing and doing as best we can, may not be measuring up. Measuring up to whom? What God leads us to “do” will be seen, in his eyes, as productive. Getting a grasp of that can settle us down as “others” (and even we, ourselves) wonder if it matters. The enemy lurking will always throw darts to discourage. I presently am dodging ammunition as if it was a world war and sometimes “feel” I am losing the battle. It can wear us down but we know our Captain and it is to him we report – and with him we get our focus back.

    Being able to share here, along with others, as you give us direction from what you have been called to do via social media, is a highlight of my week. You put a lot of time and effort to share with excellence and from your heart. That is “huge”. Be assured, we are “here” because you are a ray of sunshine helping us find a safe place in the often bleak realms of social media to share what is real. The “real” real! Who can put numbers or data or any measure on that? Thank you for persevering through this time that is dim to you. Know from “our side” the sun is shining. May some beams burst back to you – and soon! God bless.

  5. Dia Says: 7:12 pm

    Well said Jean.

  6. Michael Boyce Says: 8:33 am

    Thank You so Much,Graham,your own Blogging is like a Breath of Fresh Air,cooled by a Summer’s Rain!

  7. Graham Says: 6:21 pm

    Dear Jean…and so many others, thank you for your words of encouragement at a time when I have been walking through a somewhat difficult valley. Years ago I felt that I had received a ‘word’ to “do a small thing and do it well until it’s done”. This has become central to my life and seems to clash with the ever present drivenness of our present communications culture. So much is now stored and analyzed and then spat out as a blunt ‘number’. Just a few digits from BIG DATA that results in yet more drive to get a better result? Whatever happened to the deep encouragement of a personal, caring letter…handwritten! I am trying very hard to go a lot deeper in the ‘small thing I do’ and to experience a measure of contentment that has so far escaped me in this season of discontent. I am so very grateful to you all who read and contribute, you are a ray of sunshine in a rather bleak world. Graham

  8. Jean Says: 5:26 am

    Enthusiasm is the fuel that propels your rudder. It is absolutely essential regarding communication – like humor for a comedian – where would he be without laughter. There is an episode on Star-Trek The Next Generation where Data experiences being a comedian to a false audience that laughs continuously even when he is not joking. He soon realizes that false sincerity is no sincerity at all and is worthless. Sincerity, passion, enthusiasm are all elements of sterling – that which makes you real, makes you shine, makes you memorable, makes you worthwhile. On a side note – I love how you are starting each Saturday bog with a video. It is still always a joy to hear your voice and see you smile – sterling! Re: Pebbles – how cute. We have a 10 year old male beagle – spry as a puppy. He lives in the house with us and spends many hours waiting to go out for a walk. While waiting he is almost catatonic – some days I think it might be his last – but then – take him out for a walk and he turns into a mini race horse – ears flying back, kicking up dirt, eyes wide open, teeth gleaming – what a relief – he still has life within him! Where your passion is truly lives your enthusiasm and life energy.

  9. cami Says: 6:54 am

    Enthusiasm is like attitude, its only contageous if its sincere.. thanks for the nice blog, interesting reading 🙂

  10. Lynn Severance Says: 3:31 pm

    Ah, Graham! Enthusiasm! What an amazing topic. Surely it was a turning point in your career when Treena ‘demanded’ that natural part of your personality be incorporated into the presentations for your television audience. Once you could ‘break forth’, surely it helped make all the hard work needed for the ensuing years more joyful.

    Finding a career that is ‘totally us’ and that has the element of personal connection with others is a gift – for us and for them!! Enthusiasm can be contagious joy that spills over and enlivens hearts. It cannot be forced. I’d say we all have experienced encounters where there was no internal spark even though actions tried to convey otherwise.

    The most important place we bring our joy is in our personal relationships with others: one-on-one or in a small group setting. Surely there are times when life is challenging and our expressions need to be real as they are also from the heart. Our hope that they will be received with equality of interest (a subtle form of enthusiasm) is important.

    The Scripture that was quickened to my heart, when you spoke of ‘enthusiasm’ is from Zephaniah 3:17. “The Lord your God is with you, he. . .will rejoice over you with singing.”

    Is not our enthusiasm one way of giving thanks by entering into a duet!!

  11. James Thompson Says: 4:14 pm

    Hi Graham. Something you said about false enthusiasm and does it were thin? Personally I never could adapt to that “fake it until you make it” idea. I can’t be as enthusastic as I would like to be unless I am passionate about it. Unless I truely believe in what I’m doing. Take the restaurant business for example, so many people show lack of enthusiasm which make for a poor job. I found to care about something or someone for that matter really makes a world of difference. Speaking for myself, ethusiasm as gotten me far in life. In this world it’s almost considered insane not to take care of “number one.” What a sad thing. For myself, to be enthusiastic and to go the extra mile, to put things I’ve found important before myself enriched my life immensely. For instance when I cook, we had a saying where I come from. 5% ingredients, 5% labor, 90% love. Ethusiasm in my humble opinion Graham is everything. Work, play, family …. Just isn’t the same without enthusiasm.

  12. Shelley Paros Says: 3:21 pm

    Hi Grahm,
    It was your enthusiasm that empowered me to go forward with enthusiasm and be the eternal optimist while everyone was saying oh! No, don’t do that!
    After taking positions in the restaurant industry, I moved to downtown Detroit and continuedo in the industry while I put myself through college, married, while parenting 2 fantastic boys volunteered, ando purchased the restaurant across from old Tiger Stadium, introducing the concept of Farm to Table, putting an addition on the restaurant after the Tigers moved locations and survived the sudden death of my best friend, spouse while my son’s where still in middle school… four years passed before I stopped and listened to my heart and realized God did not need me to be His Administrative Assistant but His light. Leading me ultimately to Central Florida and becoming a Culinary Teacher and Master Gardner.
    Being at the a community school Master Gardening event this very morning led me to meet a spectacular lady named Natalie Hall. WE had a grand time and when I shared that I described myself toy students as a Mash-up of Mary Poppins meets Ms. Drizzle with a dash of Casper and a pinch of Tigger.. well she shared her relationship with you and encouragedad me to write /post on my first blog.
    It is wonderful to hear you again!
    I am sorry for your loss with Treena, I know how challenging a working martial best friend loss can be.
    Ifor you ever come south I would love to introduce you to my wonderful students you would be such an inspiration to them. There is so much I could share of their willingNess to take it all in, caring about there environment, their nutrition aND more. Just yesterday I assigned getting a biography on someone whose career there were interested in. Today, I also learned you’ve written an autobiography. Again, it would be fantastic to have you here …I would love to help you promote your book. I would love it even more to help you to share your enthusiasm to this new generation the world is in need of your inspired thinking!!

    Very Best to You!
    Shelley Paros.
    PS Love the wedding cake topper and geese representING Treena being there..you are so heartfelt. Thank you.

    I am on LinkedIn and Facebook

  13. Michael Boyce Says: 2:04 pm

    Sorry about the Spelling mistakes! Low Watt Bulbs and small print cause this! I Apologize!

  14. Michael Boyce Says: 2:02 pm

    hey,Graham,Being Enthused means Exciting,and that’s what You Are! I’m always Excited about a New Re-Issue by an artist that makes Me Happy! It also means Encoutaged,and I’m always this when I get to Blog here! And,O’m Enthused and Excited to Chat with You! You ate the most Easy to talk to-Your Down To Earth Chats are always Entertaining! And,I love watching the You Tube for the Re Runs of Your “Galloping Gourmet” show,They’re all Time Transporters,Taking us Back to those Golden Days! Love them,and always enjoy engaging in these Chats!

  15. Carol Owens Says: 10:20 am

    Love your blogs, Graham. Love you, as always. Jimmy & Carol

  16. lauren thomson Says: 9:48 am

    Enthusiasm means everything to getting the job done correctly. The laid back syndrome prevents more acts to stay undone. But enthusiasm charges up completely. After all if the presenter isn’t enthusiastic than why should the receivers show interest. Well done topic.

  17. Rick Says: 8:57 am

    Love reading your stories!

  18. Jon Stevens Says: 8:05 am

    You are the master of enthusiasm, Graham, that’s for sure! We all have learned to love life a lot more because you embrace it so eagerly. I do wonder though, about Pebbles. We all have balls we chase enthusiastically but some day the Big Ball Thrower in the Sky will notice our arthritis in the body and while appreciating our enthusiastic and eager hearts to go get Him more balls if He would just throw them, puts the balls away and pets our heads and gets us our supper. We’ll go eat with Him, but chasing balls was more fun.

  19. Bob & Cheryl Ogle Says: 5:05 am

    Hello Graham! We love your blog and to
    hear that voice of yours after all these years
    is a nice blessing.
    Your words this week are welcome as we all
    grow older, and hopefully wiser. I’m sure u
    the syntax of this wonderful word your talking
    about this week. Theos, having God with in
    us is truly remarkable!
    Anyway, Denny Gunderson is visiting with us
    this weekend & his presence is also, as
    always, such a treat! If u are ever in
    Louisiana do give us notice, we would love
    to see you again and enjoy some great
    Louisiana cuisine! God bless you!

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