Into The Wild: Frozen in Time – FACE YOUR FEELINGS


Abundant Friendship

Friends Through
Thick and Thin

Facing feelings make us vulnerable to our truth. Why do we tend to romanticize the past?

Personally, I’m thankful that all the good memories remain.

Good friends, solid friends remain. They do not blow away with the wind. In my case, because I can be loyal to a fault, sometimes God had to pull me away from ‘friends’ kicking and screaming. He prunes us when we need it most.

There are times we must ignore the MESSENGER delivering the message. God gives us guidelines from many different sources. It’s up to us to be open in our minds enough to HEAR what we are to hear and learn.

It took me forever to be ‘settled’ in Conway. Today, I still miss my Nashville, Tn. Friends, work partners, and social life, – always the most fun. Was it tied to my work? You bet. Nothing is funnier than being behind the scenes for any event or show and talking about it later with those who present. Yes, it can be stressful, trying to honor one’s client and the show’s criteria but it’s the best stories behind the scenes.

Long before INTO THE WILD with Jack Hanna, my PR agency assisted him, his team in bringing all kinds of animals to television. Ostriches come to mind, yet my favorites are still the snow leopards and the Eagles. In fact, we asked Ricky Skaggs to help release an Eagle in one adventure. Behind the scenes, I was busy locating a cherry-picking machine in Pigeon Forge, TN. to help with the release. Was it a piece of cake? Not so much — but it was my responsibility. Everything needed to LOOK easy, even if it was not! Of course, we found the cherry-picker.

When Good Morning America wanted the Gaither Vocal Band to perform, initially Bill said no. I was gobsmacked, his reason?They were busy with rehearsals on a boat, on the lake more than an hour away from Nashville. Well, I was not about to let them miss the opportunity.Thankfully, we had a WONDERFULLY KIND producer, ABC’s Tom Guisto. Tom agreed and off we went.

What made the difference for me? Don’t like to ‘lose’ any opportunity any time, anywhere. Even now, if you ask for a story about one of my artists, I’ll always ask for the cover.

Covers obtained were deserving and perfect for the publication. It helped/helps to LOVE artists we represent. Rarely did we take a client not loved by the entire team. If they are the best, we want the world to know.

Because I loved my experiences so much, sometimes all spoken by me was about the past. Very consciously about two years ago, I made a focused effort to STOP. Just Stop. I did slip a couple of times, okay maybe three or four, yet if I brought up old stories NO MATTER how fun and funny, I tried to STOP. And I did. Do they still go off in my head? You bet.

Avoiding the VERBAL retelling diminishes the quest to say more about the past. In my spot? Know the feeling?

Trust this: the more we are in the present, the happier we are.

Every morning I have a place to get-up-and-go-to, and it makes me happy. The blessing is not lost on me. Art on the Green deserves my best, and I can only give my best if I stay IN-THE-PRESENT.

Let’s all work to stay in the present. It does make a difference.

Oil Painting by William McClanahan #investmentpiece

Oil Painting
William McClanahan #investmentpiece


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Monday, Monday

Ansel Adams said “Our lives at times seem a study in contrast… love & hate, birth & death, right & wrong… everything seen in absolutes of black & white. Too often we are not aware that it is the shades of grey that add depth & meaning to the starkness of those extremes.

Ansel_Adams_and_cameraAnsel Adams with his camera.

April 14, 1918 Josie Dee Reynolds (McClain) was born.  She went to heaven September 18, 2012.  Today she would have been 96 years old.

MotherJosie Dee Reynolds McClain

April 14, 1918 – September 18, 2012

I miss her everyday. Everyday.  Every. Single. Day.  Mostly miss her when I am happy, and doing well.  Now, that seems to be all the time.  I called her all the time, all. the. time.  I am happy, at peace and loving my life and I want her to know.  My only sad moments are because I cannot share these times with her.  She — as would my Father — be so happy that I’m happy.

They taught me integrity, compassion and kindness.  I didn’t always follow their path, but I have tried.  That I cannot tell them this one more time makes me sad.  They loved me in a way that showed me how God loves me, something I will always cherish.

And I would like to tell her Norman Holland died.  She liked him, thought he was fun and funny.  She was right.  His memorial service is this afternoon at Christ Church in Nashville, Tennessee. It will be streamed live at  Tune in if you can, there is no more wonderful funeral than a music artist’s.   Norman was the music artist’s producer.


Second to Mark Lowry, Norman Holland was one of the funniest people i knew.  He could also make me madder than anyone.  LuLu Roman introduced us, and it was LuLu that felt something was wrong and had someone check on Norman that day.

Norman is all over my house, the gifts he gave me that I can see.   We loved to shop, we loved sales.  Norman introduced me to Mark, to Bill Gaither and so many others in the music industry.  He was a force, but he never acted that way.  He just worked tirelessly to make a difference.  He did that, in spades.

Norman called me out of the blue about four months ago, “I just want to hear your voice,” he said.  So we talked and talked — reminisced — and laughed about all the fun we’ve had.

I’m going to remember him from the last phone call – and know he’s at peace.

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Rule #3 Respond!

How do I respond when someone doesn’t want to hear my truth?  Will I be a peace practioner?  It might be as simple as returning a phone call or responding to a text.  How about that email we don’t want to deal with?

One thing is certain, it starts with all of us.  You and me.

It starts by returning phone calls, texts, emails.

When that habit is mastered, begin writing thank you notes on REAL paper.

Writing thank you notes is as ingrained in me as my name, thanks to my Mother.  In my office, it’s always easy to reach stationary, cards and stamps.  ALWAYS.  It’s not hard.  Luckily, I’ve been surrounded with people most of my business & personal life who feel the same.  It’s courtesy, but it also says something about my brand. My brand you say?  My name is my brand, what I stand for and everything else in between.

Today so much of this has gone away because of social media.  When I was ‘beginning my career’ and even in college I wrote people to say thanks.  (Still do.)

One RESPONDER immediately comes to mind, Helen Gurley Brown.   I wrote how much I loved her first book.  HGB wrote the most lovely thank you note for my thank you note!  I can’t remember exactly all HGB did, but I do remember she took time to RESPOND to a fledgling publicist who could do absolutely nothing for her.

Another RESPONDER is Bill Carter — Arkansan — works with everyone from the Rolling Stones to the Gatlin Brothers.  Busy much?  Of course, but Bill Carter returned my calls.  Years after my first call to him, I began working with Bill, when he became Bill Gaither’s partner in television specials.  No, I didn’t always like what he said, but I LOVED that he said it.  He was and still is his own truth teller.

How we make people feel is a significant part of our career successes and failures.

When we do not acknowledge an act, or return a phone call we are saying “you don’t matter to me.”

“Your gift does not matter.”

“Your lunch invitation does not matter.”

“Your offer to help me does not matter.”

“Your request for my help does not matter.’

“Your idea does not matter.”

“YOU do not matter.”

I’ve not always been good about journaling my life, but I have been good about keeping cards and notes from others.  It’s a great way to remember those who’ve been kind.

Why is it I cannot remember if I locked my car door, but I can remember those who’ve not responded?

I can also remember times I did not respond.  Those times have sometimes haunted me, not speaking to someone or returning a phone call because I was too busy, too lazy or the worst, I was arrogant. Some days it’s a struggle and some days I just don’t care, but these days are rare now because I know what a difference RESPONDING makes when someone responds/does not respond to me.  I want to be an AUTHENTIC RESPONDER.  I want others to know they matter.  I want you to know you matter.

There are times when something is said that can allow us to make a choice — be Switzerland and straddle that fence or stand UP for something.  I’ve never really located those bushes to ‘beat around’ so pretty much with me, what you see is what you get.  Good and bad.  My head starts exploding if I can’t tell my Authentic Truth.  I have my Father to thank for this — he said it and wanted me to say it too.

If I disagree, or have bad news to share — & if I’m allowed — I  want to see you when we talk. One night in the late 90’s I was with a group of artists, and fully aware one particular performer wanted to ‘impress me’ for future opportunities.  He said, “This building is around a really bad area, a lot of black people, you are so pretty, you need to be really careful going home. Do you have a knife or anything to protect yourself?”

Really? Really.

I could not believe what I was hearing.  Once I caught my breath, I said “That is SUCH a bigoted statement I do not even know how to respond.”

Back peddling has never been so swift.  And for the ten + years every single time I saw this performer he tried to ‘fix’ his mess of a mouth.

I had no choice but to respond, if I had not responded, my head would have exploded and my heart would still be disappointed in me.

Is it a wonder no one still knows who he is?

Case in point:  Why is Judge Judy still the #1 rated day time show?  She is a truth teller.  In the age of ‘feel good’ and ‘be happy’ someone stepping up to say their truth can be intoxicating.

Me? Personally?  I am addicted to Dr. Phil.  I was not a fan originally, but the more I find complacency, the more addicted I am to his ways helping others to clean up their emotional houses, enabling them to move forward in a healthy way.  Another truth teller.

Obviously I could go on and on, and sometime I may talk about this more. For today I want us all to be truth tellers, return our calls, write thank you notes, RESPOND.  These few simple acts tell others they matter.  The reward is so great, greater than any of us can really imagine.

I am lucky to have friends for life, loyal truth telling friends because I RESPONDED.

Will you be a RESPONDER?  A truth teller?  How will you brand yourself?  Will
you be your AUTHENTIC SELF?






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