Sider Road — Where’s That Name Come From?

The updated kitchen of the Farm House. The floors are original.

I have two or three parts to my career life.  One is an author and thus, an Office Culture and Politics as a result of the book and 30+ years working experience for the best and the worst in Fortune 500, start ups and mid-sized companies.  As a brand expert, I have grown the top brands in the world to profitability.  As an entrepreneur, I have co-founded three companies.  Sider Road is my consulting company that was hatched in 2001.  I am working on explaining myself in one site as soon as I find the right words….

In the meantime, I wanted to write a little about how I came up with the Sider Road name.  Yes, it’s personal and yes, it’s related to my extraordinary childhood.

Emma told me it was called gravel.  It hit the 1975 Buick station wagon with force as we drove down the straight road to the farmhouse. You know the car.  The one with the fake wood used as side paneling and had no seatbelts. Many weekends, summers and holidays were spent on “The Farm” in Stevensville, Canada which was about 25 minutes from our suburban brick home in Buffalo. The 250-acre working farm was home base to our beloved Mennonite housekeeper, Emma Sider, and her four siblings, Girvin, Edwin, Lillian and Irene, who lived a lifetime together in the farmhouse. The other three siblings married and lived locally; two of whom married their first or second cousins. I can’t remember exactly. If you had asked any one of the Sider siblings a basic question, a long-winded story, mostly of a terrible event, would have been followed up.   The Sider family loved to tell stories with full 0n animation of everysingleangleandcharacter.  Nowadays, we can change the topic and pray the story teller would forget…. not the Sider family.  Each one would keep talking and ensure that you included in the details.  You had to listen as they would ask you questions about the story at another point of the day.

My childhood, even though, I had a wonderful upbringing in Buffalo and parents who cared about us all, was laser focused on The Farm where I learned to milk cows, tend to chickens and chic’s, ducks, work a tractor, bail hey, pick corn, feed pigs, pick strawberries and raspberries and being taught the benefits of trapping foxes.  That was my world. The farmhouse was  built by their parents when they came from Germany to settle in the New World. The heat came from the cast iron wood stove in the kitchen. We shared beds that were covered by hand sewn quilts created by the women of the house. Carefully, I watched the sisters, cousins, aunts and neighbors sew and copied as best I could on the lines shown to me to follow. I wore the Mennonite smock.  At times, I wondered if I would be one of them.  I loved Emma, her siblings, friends and extended family with every morsel of my body. My son Ethan, is named after Emma.

The farm house, which still stands, is located on Sider Road.

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