Saturday, November 23, 2013

LEGACY: The Possum and a President.

As I sit here to write, one thought seems to permeate my mind, today is a day of legacy. For the past week all the major new shows, newspapers, and magazines have been taking the country back to November 22, 1963 in Dallas. Stories of young President Kennedy have been on overload in preparation of the 50th anniversary of his assassination. As a nation, we have made him almost mythical as we reference all about him as an Era of Camelot. Although I may question his overall significance as a President, it does not escape me; his legacy is securely woven into America’s fabric and will be long lasting.

Yesterday, in Nashville, another legacy was celebrated. It was a legacy that touched me in a more personal way and although I never met George Jones, I will never forget how he has impacted this country. Over and over people have elevated him to the greatest country singer ever and who am I to argue. I remember the first George Jones concert I attended. It was in Ashland, KY and local favorite, Billy Ray Cyrus opened the show. As I stood there listening to BRC, Jones and the boys rolled up in their tour bus. It was the first time I had seen a tour bus and I knew right then I wanted one. When George strode out to the stage everyone stopped what they were doing and looked upon him, because, well, for us it was royalty standing there. We knew what royalty looked like, shoot, Loretta Lynn grew up just an hour or so south of us, so we knew.

Much like the young president we’ve all been hearing stories about all week, I’ve been reading stories of the Possum as Nashville prepared to celebrate his legacy. Over 100 performers gathered to sing, regale us with stories and just remember a hero. Yes a hero. Although he and President Kennedy have had their shortfalls and indiscretions they will both go down in America’s history books as heroes. So many of today’s entertainers owe a great deal to the “President of Country Music,” part of that debt we owe, is to love those who paid to hear you and be kind to those around you.

Perhaps he lost his footing on this from time to time, but he never forgot it. Paying for funerals for friends, Johnny Paycheck for instance, setting up scholarships, giving young artists tips to help them advance their careers and the list would go on. With all his music and talent that introduced us to the man we affectionately called “No Show” his true legacy will be that of simply being a good man who loved. He loved his family, friends and his fans. So it isn’t any wonder his funeral at the Grand Ole Opry was packed or that his final “No Show” concert was sold out with people standing in the rain outside watching on jumbo screens.

His will be a legacy, not so much of songs about a broken heart, as it will be one of love, because if you have never loved then you have never had a broken heart. Thank you George Jones.

Friday, November 8, 2013


Everyone desires success. Our definition of what success looks like may differ but we all want it. Maybe you define it as riches in the bank and a mansion on a hill or perhaps just a comfortable living would be success to you. A nice family with kids who do well in school or simply a happy life is how you would define it. Regardless of your definition, you want it, we all do and it’s nothing to be ashamed of nor should you feel guilty to want it. Success is a good thing. It’s our definition that sometimes gets out of whack or its all consuming pursuit that causes ulcers but overall it is ok to have success. Bookshelves are filled by authors, each with secrets on how to achieve it, regardless of the definition.

So I've been thinking about this a lot lately and decided there isn't just one formula for success because definitions vary. The areas in which it can be achieved are just as numerous and requires a different matrix to quantify true success. Although there may be some similarities or areas where each overlaps, you can’t just have one formula or step by step process because it’s just too much.

However, I’m going to offer up what I think will help you achieve success. Although you may be able to apply some of it to several areas, I have a specific area in mind but you must decide where and how it may or may not apply to you. I will in no way tell you, “If you do this you will be a success.” No blog, article or book should boast of such a claim. This subject isn't like some gourmet meal you can achieve simply by following a recipe. However here is my two cents worth on the subject, apply what you can to where you can or just toss it, which also may be your first step to great success. Here it goes.

DREAM. We are only limited by the size of our dreams. If you dream small you will achieve small and if you dream big you’re bound to achieve big things.

WRITE. Yep, write. Whether its journals, poems or just three pages in the morning where your mind is flowing to your pen just jotting down what’s there, just write. All the greats do it.

FOCUS. This helps you set goals to achieve whatever kind of success you are seeking to achieve.

DEVELOP. This area encompasses a large area but mainly I am talking about you. Develop yourself mentally, spiritually and your skills needed to gain the success you seek.

EFFORT. Simply put, nothing worth having ever came about without putting forth the effort it took to achieve it.

PROMOTE.  This is self explanatory. I was told I was in the self-promotion business more than anything else and as a comic very true.

Just six simple things that will, I hope, aid you as you travel your road to great success, no matter how you define it or in which area you want it.