Into The Wild: Frozen in Time – FACE YOUR FEELINGS

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
by
William McClanahan #investmentpiece

 


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Whitney Houston

My Whitney Houston memory is not what one might think.

MPR, my Nashville, Tennessee-based public relations firm represented many Southern Gospel music artists, including Gaither Music. I loved everyone we represented and always wanted the most significant media possible. National television was the goal. After all, WHO in their right mind would not want Bill Gaither & Co. on their show? They were selling more videos than any mainstream artist on the planet and consistently one of the top grossing concerts annually.

September, 2001, Gaither et al ascends on NYC to film “God Bless America” at Carnegie Hall. We had taken over the Parker Meridian. Paul Simon was to be a surprise guest for the show. Gaither showman Jessy Dixon toured with Paul in Africa, and they remained friends. It was fun to have him there, but the audience was pure Gaither, and that’s who they came to see.

The show was sold out, but “Good Morning America” was booked for the morning of the show. George Beverly Shea would sing “How Great Thou Art,” and Bill Gaither would accompany him on piano. The Vocal Band had done GMA before. Everything went beautifully, but it was always a very tough sell; this time no different. Scheduled for the last 30 minutes of the show: 8:30 a.m. We were still waiting fifteen minutes later when Diane and crew came downstairs, where a grand piano had been set up in the window so fans not lucky enough to be inside could watch too. After the obligatory photos, the now very brief segment began. Diane introduced Bev Shea but not Bill! She said, “these men have sold out Carnegie Hall tonight!” On our ride back to the hotel, Bill laughingly said, “I’ll bet everyone wondered who those two old men were that sold out Carnegie Hall.”  (Bill always took everything in stride; he knows the bigger picture.) Little did Sawyer know these musical giants were living legends…but Gospel music was not cool, and we were always appreciative of any little breakthrough into the mainstream. That day was no exception, even for these legends.

Segue Whitney Houston GMA concert: post Diane interview. Whitney turned to the audience and began singing “Jesus Loves Me.” Whitney owned the camera. It was a mainstream artist, also a living legend, who was brave enough to move the mountains that day. Whitney. Was. Glorious.  And, YES! Whitney, Jesus Loves You.
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