Wayne Boles “I’m in a perpetual state of learning.”

It’s easy for us to stagnate. We get caught up in the rush of our everyday and forget to explore. We stop discovering, pioneering and questioning our world. It’s so easy to just accept what’s around us.

But Wayne Boles chooses to challenge that norm. In his 81 years of living, he’s yet to run out of questions. He’s always seeking something new.

He showed us around his office in his condo above downtown Lincoln, where books and papers are stacked high on shelves. One specific item he pulled from his stock was a three ring binder labeled, “The Pondering Club.” Inside was a collection of printed emails and documents with questions like: “When a person experiences an ‘ah-ha’ moment, what is activated in the brain?” and “When did the ocean lower enough to expose the land where we now are in Nebraska?” To find answers Wayne reaches out to his vast network of contacts, scholars, scientists and fellow thinkers.

“I claim to have the largest contact list in the city of Lincoln. I don’t know whether that’s true or not,” he laughs.

It’s one of the many ways he’s constantly seeking information.

In his professional life, that mentality has manifested in his willingness to dive into new endeavors head first. He grew up in Oklahoma and studied art education at the University of Central Oklahoma before moving to Hutchinson, Kansas and taking a teaching position. After a while he felt an interest in sales and pursued a new career, which would eventually move his family to Lincoln. Twelve years later, he started assisting political candidates with their campaigns. Public Relations interested him and his then spouse, Carole, and they started their own agency in 1980.

But times were rough, as the country was headed into a recession. Boles Advertising closed in 1987.

“I’m an extrovert. I’m always smiling, but inside, I was under a lot of pressure,” he says.

He took jobs with a few other companies in sales, and then a new opportunity presented itself.

One of his sons and two of his friends started a manufacturing company in 1985 and recruited Wayne to be a sales manager in 1990. In 1994, Wayne was transferred to the corporate office. That job grew to encompass more community and government relations for what has become Telesis, Incorporated, a parent company to Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill, Empyrean Brewing Company, Data Security, Incorporated and FireWorks Restaurant. And what he loves most, of course, is the fact that he encounters something new every day.

“I’m in a perpetual state of learning.”

But Wayne will be the first to tell you we don’t have to be defined by our vocation. In fact, he prefers to identify with his avocations: thinking and writing.

If you’re lucky enough to be a part of “The Pondering Club”, you might receive an email from Wayne now and again. He writes up essays and sends them to his contacts as a way to share his findings with his community. But no matter how many questions he answers, there will always be more to ask.

“I’ll be 81 in June. I learn something new every day,” he says.

It’s an important thing to remember: There will always be more to discover. There will always be more to learn, more to explore if we choose to do so in our daily lives. Wayne Boles is proof.

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Photographer

Nick Goodwin