“Don’t give up…”

“Don’t give up…”

I’ve been away from the news, and from social media, quite a bit lately. But I wanted to post this today, and ask for your prayers for continued healing for my friend.

Ten days ago my dear friend, EG Kight, was attacked by 3 dogs, while walking down the country road by her house, a road she’s walked for over 40 years…

I drove down the next day to help her in any way I could. Seeing the wounds, and hearing her recount the events, I’m amazed that she did all the right things to protect herself from further harm, and possible death, and how she seemed to have an invisible circle of protection around her. It is an absolute miracle that she’s alive…

http://www.13wmaz.com/news/local/east-dublin-singer-eg-kight-survives-dog-attack-it-was-just-so-horrific/518291457

As horrific as it’s been for her, she’s been overwhelmed, and often moved to tears, at the outpouring of love she’s received. She’s trying to keep up with the thousands of facebook comments, private messages, text messages, emails, and phone calls. And the cards and letters, and flowers and other gifts are still coming in…

In the midst of all this, I’m reminded of the power of faith, hope, and perseverance.

And I’m reminded of a song she wrote several years ago, whose lyrics hit so close to home right now.

DON’T GIVE UP
©EG Kight / Georgia Songbird Music (BMI)

I know it’s looking dark on your side of the road
And you need someone to help lighten your load
Don’t give up, help is on the way
It’s right around the corner, have faith, don’t be afraid

You may be feeling lower than a rattlesnake
You’re crawling in the mud, can’t seem to find your way
Don’t give up, help is right around the bend
It won’t be long till you’re back on your feet again

Just give it to the Good Lord, He knows what to do
To lift your heavy burden, and take care of you
No matter where you are, or where you’ve been
Just take Him by the hand and let Him be your friend
Don’t give up, let the Good Lord do His thing
Before you know it, your spirit will be soaring again

You can lose patience when you’re tired of the fight
A
nd you don’t see no relief in sight
He knows that you’re hurtin’ and so confused
Just give it all to the Lord and turn it loose
Don’t give up, just let Him do His thing
Soon your spirit will be soaring again

Don’t give up, Don’t give up
Just let the Good Lord do His thing
Don’t give up, Don’t give up
Soon your spirit will be soaring again

EG loves to entertain, and inspire her audiences. Who knew that one day her own lyrics would lift her up, and remind her to not give up, and that “soon her spirit will be soaring again.”

Click below to hear her sing it.

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Don’t be afraid to speak about what you know

Those who know me well know that I’m fairly shy, and I’m comfortable in the background, going quietly about my life. I keep a low profile, and don’t get vocal about too many things.

But recently I was compelled to respond to a facebook post by Melanie Layden, WSMV‘s traffic reporter, about Nashville’s traffic. She wrote that they’d be airing an “exclusive sit-down interview with Mayor Megan Barry as we talk about what the future of Nashville’s transit system looks like… and what that will mean for our traffic as the city continues to grow.”
I responded with “Please ask her what’s being done to alleviate the already existing traffic congestion in Green Hills, and what the plan is to handle the influx of a minimum of 300 additional cars when the new apartments at Hillsboro and Richard Jones opens in December. If two people live in each apartment, that’s 600 more cars trying to navigate an already gridlocked Hillsboro Pike. I live on Hillsboro, a few blocks from that new building, and lately it takes ten minutes to go 1 mile to the post office – even if I cut through the back neighborhoods. I can’t imagine what it will be like with all those new people, AND all the cars full of people who will come to shop and eat at the new restaurants on that same corner. What a nightmare!!”

A week or so later, she wrote back “Yes, you are so right about Hillsboro Pike!! You’ve inspired me to make my next story on this. Do you live around the area in Green Hills? Would you be willing to talk to me on camera about how terrible the traffic is for you? (I’m also going to be talking with city leaders to see what’s going to be done to fix it.)”

When she asked if I’d talk with her on camera about it, I immediately wanted to. But I didn’t know if I’d be comfortable doing it.

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I flashed back to several years ago, when I was in Austin, Texas. I was at the Midwest Arts Conference with two of my artists, EG Kight and Lisa Biales, (together known as the “Peach Pickin’ Mamas“) and they were getting ready to take the stage for their showcase. The announcer wasn’t doing a very good job, and talked so quietly that the audience could barely hear him. So Lisa grabbed me by the arm, pointed me toward the stage, and said “You need to introduce us!”

I didn’t have time to think about it, or to panic.

So I walked up to the front of the room, and without even using a mic, I projected my voice loud enough for all to hear, told the audience how glad we were to see them, gave a one-minute introduction for both Lisa and EG, then introduced them as the Peach Pickin’ Mamas. And it was SO easy!

Here are EG and Lisa performing, after the introduction.

The next day, at the conference, I got up in front of a different crowd and told a little bit about the PPM’s, and invited everyone to come visit us at our booth.

And THAT was easy, too!

Lisa changed my life in that one moment, when she didn’t ask, but TOLD me to get up and speak…
It gave me confidence, and nothing has been the same since.

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So when Melanie, the WSMV news reporter asked if I’d talk on camera with her, I remembered Austin. And I remembered that when you know a lot about a subject, it’s easy to talk about it. I gave it serious consideration. Over time, Melanie was encouraging without being pushy. So I finally agreed to do it. And it felt good.

Here are photos I took in one afternoon in Green Hills a few months ago, in the middle of the day, NOT during rush hour. Here’s a look at traffic in front of me, and traffic behind me.


And here’s what the typical congestion is like on Hillsboro Pike, within just a few minutes, while waiting at a one red light.

 
With that in mind, here are two links to the stories that aired on WSMV.

http://www.wsmv.com/story/35461301/green-hills-residents-fed-up-with-traffic-congestion
http://www.wsmv.com/story/35465063/new-development-brings-traffic-concerns-to-green-hills-residents

It was interesting to hear Melanie say that “Metro Public Works tells Channel 4 that it’s often a misconception that mixed use developments bring in more traffic. They say that Hillsboro Road has the capability to handle the extra traffic that will be thrown at it, and then some.”

What world do the folks at Metro Public Works live in?!?

And I find it interesting that in the second story, the CEO of the development group states “I don’t think people will get in a car at our building and drive to Trader Joe’s. They’ll walk there.” And he states that Southern Land’s “sidewalks will be big and wide.”

However…

That doesn’t help ease traffic congestion when all 300 (possibly 600) residents have to get in their cars to go to work every morning, and drive back home every evening.

The Green Hills traffic nightmare continues

 

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International Women’s Day

I’ve been so buried in work lately that I haven’t had much time to plan anything for International Women’s Day.

And as much as I’d like to be a part of the “A Day without Women” events around the world today, I need to work. A woman needs my help. She’s in the hospital, so I’ll be working in her office, keeping her business going. I’ll be there for her.

Lately I’ve marveled at just how blessed I am, doing work that I love, and working with genuinely good people. But I never really thought about it until today – all of my regular clients are women!

I’ve worked in the music business for decades, wearing all the hats, being what I needed to be in the moment, from booking agent, manager, roadie, merchandise manager, wardrobe assistant, songplugger, to personal assistant, and everything in between. And I enjoy every aspect of the business.

And working with EG Kight all these years has been a blessing. Her talents never cease to amaze me. Georgia Music Magazine summed it up – “…a gentle and elegant woman who manages to channel Southern charm, sophistication and a fierce passion for the blues into one tremendously intoxicating voice.” Our friendship is steadfast, and after all the loss we’ve experienced, (family members and friends who have passed on), it’s only made us stronger, individually, and as a team. Nothing seems insurmountable now.

And having Lisa Biales join our roster was a natural fit. Coming from a theatrical background, and with a love for folk and blues music, she is making her mark on the music world. Blues Matters Magazine in the UK writes – “Her voice is warm and supple; her phrasing is impeccable.” And her brand new album, released 70 years to the day after her mother’s recording, actually includes her mother’s voice on “Crying Over You.” What a beautiful way to honor her mother.

I thoroughly enjoy working with both of these strong, independent women. I am so blessed…

And I have other clients that I do some office management for – Patricia, who is a copywriter and editor; Marci, who owns a dance studio; and Fabianna, who owns a video production company with her husband. And I work in various capacities for Teri, who owns a photography studio with her husband, and is the mother of an amazing young woman who graduated from Vanderbilt, and 16 year old boy, for whom I’ve provided care since he was less than a year old.

Each and every one of these women inspire me, encourage me, move me to my core…

Today, especially, I want to thank these women, for letting me be a part of their journeys.

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You can read more about EG and Lisa at http://www.BlueSouthTalent.com.

And here are both of them, performing a song that fits with what’s going on in the world these days…
“Through the Eyes of a Child”

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And if you’re in the Nashville area and are looking for a photographer I highly recommend this one.
http://www.ShannonFontaine.com

And if my child wanted to study dance, and have fun, here’s where I’d enroll them.
http://www.SecondStoryStudio.org

———————————————

#IWD2017 #InternationalWomensDay #womensday #IWD #NeverthelessShePersisted

https://www.internationalwomensday.com/About

 

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Michael Martin Murphey – the cowboy rides into town

So, I didn’t get to watch the Grammys last night… with good reason.
But I sort of watched vicariously through the words of Craig Havighurst’s recap on his facebook page. Thanks Craig!

Music.
It is the tapestry of our lives.
And my love of music goes way back.

I love many different genres, and am often moved to tears by good music.
And when I was in a Barnes & Noble recently and actually held in my hands, a vinyl record, it took my breath.
Who remembers those?!?

I’ve called Nashville home for 24 years, and I’ve heard a lot of music in this town.
And last night was one of the best.

My friend, Justin O’Neal invited me to go hear Michael Martin Murphey at the City Winery.
We had the balcony VIP section to ourselves, and it felt like we were at a private concert.

Michael Martin Murphery 021516Michael and his band performed some of my old favorites, including “What’s Forever For,” “Geronimo’s Cadillac,” “Cosmic Cowboy,” “Cherokee Fiddle,” “Carolina In The Pines,” and “Wildfire.”

Here’s a snippet of “What’s Forever For.”

And who can forget “Wildfire”?

With his son Ryan on rhythm guitar and mandolin, and young phenom Shaun Richardson on lead guitar, mandolin and fiddle, the band was tight, and fluid, and straightforward.

Thanks to Dolly Chandler from the City Winery for putting together some great events. I’ve seen several shows at the City Winery – including Gary Nicholson’s birthday bash, with EG Kight at the BB King Tribute show, and at the opposite end of the spectrum, now The Original Cowboy himself, Michael Martin Murphey.

Here are a few shots of Justin chatting with Michael after the show.

Justin and Michael Martin Murphey 1

Justin and Michael Martin Murphey 2

Justin and Michael Martin Murphey 3
Thanks Justin! I had a great time!

 

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He made us all laugh…..

My heart is heavy today, as I grasp the fact that an old and dear friend is no longer with us. A father-figure to me for several decades, Les Scarce left this world Monday morning. Though he passed peacefully, it doesn’t lessen the loss…

I met Les and his wife Normalou, in 1984, at an EG Kight show in Tulsa. I was dating Mike Cleeton at the time, and it was Valentine’s Day, so he and I were out on a date, looking for a place to have a nice, quiet dinner. I would have been content with a Schlotzky’s sandwich, but he preferred a hearty meal, so we ended up at Melody’s Restaurant, near 71st and Memorial Drive.

It was one of those magical nights that’s hard to describe, filled with music, laughter, and instant friendships. Many people who were in the room that night are still friends today. We shared so much in common, among them a love of good music.

EG would perform in Tulsa for a month at a time, several times a year, and all of her friends would come together and celebrate life. And all of her friends became friends with each other, and we all became part of a big musical family. And Les and Norma were a big part of that family.

When I heard the news that Les had passed away, the memories came flooding back. An astute business man, he was the one who spearheaded the business of a fan club for EG. We were a corporation, held regular business meetings, and had annual picnics at LaFortune Park in Tulsa, for all the fans to come together and play games, have raffles, and just have fellowship with each other. Kids of all ages would come, and some would go home with prizes of some sort. But the biggest prize was our friendships, and Les and Norma were like the parents of this great big extended family.

In this photo, we thought it would be fun to pretend we were the best band in town, so EG would hire us! Nothing could have been farther from the truth. The only one of us who could actually play the instrument we were holding was Les! Barry Whitelock, our vice president was on drums, and Fran Whitelock was on mandolin.
Norma, Fran, Barry, Les, Sunny instruments
Through the years, I’ve attended church with Les and Norma, gone out to hear live music with them, and shared many meals with them. Tulsa was so alive with great artists and musicians back then, and when EG wasn’t in town, we regularly went out to hear Debbie Campbell, Spencer Sutton, Mark Bruner, Jimmy Strader, Gus Hardin, Tommy Crook, Flash Terry, Ron Chandler, Earl Clark and Spectrum, Don WhiteBuddy Bruce, Sylvester, and so many others. And Norma never minded sharing Les with others, because he loved to dance so much.

When I moved to Nashville in 1992, it was difficult leaving family and friends behind, but I was determined to make a difference in the music business. And I carried Les’s business guidance with me…

In later years, though Les didn’t dance much any more, when I’d drive back to Tulsa for a visit, I so enjoyed spending time with him and Norma, eating at Goldie’s, or the Full Moon Café, or CJ Maloney’s, their favorite club. The music and fellowship was still so much a part of their lives, and looking around the table, I was reminded that some of those friends we were sharing yet another meal with were some of the people we met all those years ago at Melody’s.
Les and Norma Full Moon Cafe 020304
Those who knew Les well, and  even those who were blessed to be around him for a short time, all experienced his humor. He was the instigator of so much laughter, and his recitations often had the listener doubled over. Many know his version of the “wide-mouth frog,” and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve smiled, just thinking about his famous line – “Sallisaw Henryetta Wagoner Catoosa,” a pun using the names of small towns in Oklahoma.

One of my fondest memories of Les was the time he and Norma and I embarked on a mini-vacation, through the Ouachita Mountains that run from Oklahoma to Arkansas. It was a beautiful time of year, and with no real destination in mind, we simply took off in their big green Chevrolet (which they had bought from my grandparents) and headed down the road. Under no deadlines, we stopped when and where we wanted to, and often pulled off the road just to take in all the beauty. One of my favorite photos of them was taken on that trip.
Les and Normalou Scarce
They were so young at heart, and we were having the time of our lives.

True friendships withstand the test of time. And Les and Norma have remained my dear friends through all these years. Here we were a couple of years ago, celebrating Don Stacey’s birthday.
Norma, Les, Sunny Don's BD
Though we didn’t talk every day, I always felt them close, because they were so much a part of who I have become. Their influence is still with me today, and I’m so grateful to have had them in my life…

Les fell ill several weeks before he passed, and the doctors did all they could. I was so torn, wanting to be there with him and Norma, as I had several times in the past, to help them through this health challenge. But it wasn’t to be this time.

My heart aches for Norma, but I’ll be with her in spirit as she journeys through the grief. I know she won’t be alone, with her family and friends to support her. And I hope the memories will sustain her

Though my heart is heavy, and I didn’t have the chance to say goodbye to Les in person, it comforts me to know that he was at peace. He had told Norma that he was ready to go, and he started to describe the colors he was seeing, as he transitioned. I know that he rests now, with no pain, and no worries. What a beautiful reward for a beautiful soul

Hold your loved ones even closer this Christmas season, and remember what it was that first drew you to them. Forgive, and laugh, and love… as much as your heart can hold….

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Service information can be found at http://www.christian-gavlikfuneralhome.com/memsol.cgi?user_id=1484566

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Nashville loses an icon

The news hit me hard yesterday… not because I knew him personally, but because of who he was, and how he died…

Jack Vaughn

http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2014/11/09/opryland-hotel-figure-jack-vaughn-dies/18778475/

Two words are synonymous with Nashville tourism – Jack Vaughn.

Those of us who live here tend to get complacent, and immune to the fact that people from all over the world come to Nashville – for the music, for the food, for the shopping, for the entire experience. That experience is what Jack Vaughn imagined, back in the days when the Opryland property was only a tract of dirt. A visionary, a good business man, a kind and compassionate person, he literally changed the face of Nashville.

Opryland Hotel

I worked for Gaylord Entertainment, the parent company of the Opryland hotel, and though our department served all of the Gaylord companies, I never had a personal encounter with Mr. Vaughn. But in all my years there, I never heard one person utter a harsh word about him. How could they? He treated EVERY employee, from the housekeepers to the board members, with the respect they deserved. He called employees by their name, and when he had time, would engage them in conversations.

When I worked there, there was a strong sense of family. I believe that part of that feeling came from the CEO, Bud Wendell. I actually had several interesting, personal conversations with Bud, and his warmth carried over to the entire company. He and Mr. Vaughn created an atmosphere of kindness and caring. Things have certainly changed at the company in recent years, but as anyone who worked there back in the day will tell you, when Mr. Vaughn was in charge, it was a great place to work.

I can’t begin to comprehend what Mr. Vaughn’s family is going through, and the immense loss they must feel. The days ahead will be difficult, for them and for all those who loved him.

If there’s a lesson in all this, it’s that we never know what someone is going through. Like Robin Williams, we can assume that someone’s life is going well, but unless we’re in the trenches with them, we can’t know how much they hurt…

To honor Mr. Vaughn, let’s try to be more kind and compassionate towards one another. We don’t know the burdens someone carries, and maybe a smile, or a kind word or gesture can make that burden a little lighter, if only for a moment…

Mr. Vaughn had big ideas, and he dreamed big. When you look around our fair city, think of him, and his family. We are who we are because of him.

EG's photo downtown Nashville with copyright

Thank you, Mr. Vaughn. Your legacy lives on….

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Life is like a game of solitaire…

I decided to launch this blog, today, on February 17, 2014.

Why this? Why now? And why me?
The better question is – Why not?

As long as I can remember, I’ve written poetry. My first toy must have been an ink pen, because I don’t remember a time when I didn’t write.

Through the years I’ve even dabbled in songwriting, and had several of my songs recorded by several different artists.

I’ve spent my life behind the scenes, supporting others in various capacities, in the music business, in the corporate world as office manager, as virtual assistant for some in myriad businesses, and as hospice caregiver. I have enjoyed helping others, and still do.

My personal goal for 2014 was to get my thoughts out there to the universe, for the world to see. And with a little gentle prodding from a longtime friend and colleague, I picked a date, and I started gathering my thoughts for this blog.

Ironically, I had already been writing for weeks before that. This year I had also promised myself more time for me, especially in the mornings. I’ve always loved the game of solitaire, and with a warm cup of coffee in hand, I try to start every day with several games. It clears my head, and frees up the thoughts and ideas to come floating out. And those are what will be posted in this blog.

Join me on this journey, as I contemplate life’s questions, musings, and wonders…

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Today I slept late, allowing myself the rest I needed. We often don’t think WE deserve to take life a little slower, to catch our breath. But sometimes we just need to push the “reset” button. With a smooth cup of coffee in hand, I started to play…

Sitting in the quiet, behind closed blinds, the first game of solitaire was uneventful, with only an average score. Sometimes the score isn’t as important as playing the game, and today’s no different.

As I play, I can think of something, or nothing at all, and ideas, solutions, and new perspectives come to me. Today I’m thinking of how many times I opened the solitaire app in the morning, and seeing that I had left off in the middle of a game, somehow my first reaction is to clear that game and start a new one.

Giving up on a game isn’t failure, Sometimes it’s more important to make the best use of our time, and to move forward instead of getting stuck in the past. Maybe we don’t need to get caught up in the rhythm of the last game, but we need to start fresh and set a new pace. We can start anew every day…

I play in the dark, before I open the blinds to let the world in. The world waits as I do something for me, as I take care of myself. And there’s nothing selfish about that.

No matter our place in life, we can’t take care of others if we don’t take care of ourselves first. We need rest, and nourishment for our bodies, but we also need to feed our souls, so that we can go out and fulfill our purpose on this planet.

What’s your purpose?

And how do you feed your soul?

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