Be sure to read 1) Who is Erwin A. Thompson? 2) What is the Second Mile? Click links to the right.


My blog-magazine Riehl Life: Village Wisdom for the 21st century is dedicated to connection through family, the arts and across cultures. The Second Mile Award seeks to deepen and continue our collective village wisdom.

Elders are key in passing on lineage and heritage. Generations coming after these Elders keep this wisdom alive by passing it onto the next generations. And so it goes. Our goodness as a society depends on this cycle of transmission.

WHAT: The Second Mile Award honors Elders 75 years and older. Your nominee is still living.Their dignity, character, creativity, and connection to community have contributed to the world around them. No need for awards on a mantelpiece. Just good solid good people who continue to live an ordinary life in an extraordinary way.

Aging Gracefully. When my father wakes up in the morning he says his aim is to “get through the day as gracefully as possible.” Who do you know in your life who is aging gracefully?

WHY: This annual award is dedicated to my father, Erwin A. Thompson. He turns 95 on November 9, 2010. Erwin continues to inspire us by putting his integrity in motion to make good things happen.

HOW TO NOMINATE: To nominate an Elder for The Second Mile Award write a personal essay between 500 to 1,000 words explaining why you feel the Elder in your life qualifies for this award. Make your essay specific. Tell stories that illustrate the Elder’s strengths. The winning nomination essay will be posted on Riehlife.

At the top of your essay include:

1) Your name
2) Your contact information via internet. Include your ground address. (See below.)
3) The nominee’s name & age
4) How you know the person you’re nominating
5) The address of your nominee. These will not be shared. At the end of the contest we’ll send out certificates to winners and nominees. The Award Holder and the Honoree (Honorable Mention) receive checks directly written to them and sent to them.
6) Optional: Include a digital photo if possible.

See “Snow Blind in the Sierras” as an example of people who went the Second Mile.

7) Attach your personal essay as a WORD document and send it to with a short cover note in the body of the document.

The Second Mile Award provides:

1) a $500 honorarium for the Award Holder and $75 for the Honoree (Honorable Mention).
2) a certificate designed by Erwin’s grand daughter, Janean Thompson Baird.
3) publication on Riehlife of the winning nomination essay

My father and I will review the nominations to determine the holder of the 2010 Second Mile Award.

DEADLINE: November 9, 2010
(My father’s 95th birthday.)

Make sure to read 1) Who is Erwin A. Thompson and 2) What is the second mile? Click links on the top right of this section.

Erwin A. Thompson
Erwin A. Thompson

Thanks to my blogging buddy Eden Maxwell for proposing the idea of an award dedicated to my father. Click here to learn more about Eden, his artwork, and his book “An Artist Empowered” .