Who I Met Today

Everyone has a story – Collecting & sharing interesting info, life lessons, & fun things to see & do from the wonderful people in our world

Category People to Meet

Destiney Patton – Our Personal Guide Through Second Harvest Food Bank

Folks with illnesses requiring time off from work, individuals with sudden Injuries or disabilities, seniors with smaller incomes, people who’ve lost their jobs, kids in at-risk homes. It is impossible to keep track of everyone who needs help.  Many won’t ask for assistance.  Some are embarrassed to seek aid.  Others don’t know how to get support. One thing is for certain – many faces of hunger exist all across our

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Sharon Maxwell – Protecting Florida’s Sea Turtles

As  the sun rises, Sharon Maxwell strolls along a beautiful mile-long stretch of beach in the Florida Panhandle. Carefully searching for evidence of night-time visitors in the dim morning light, this early morning walk is a type of peaceful meditation for her. And then she spots them – faint tracks leading out of the water, heading toward the dunes, and returning to the ocean.  After two decades, she still gets

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Frank Billingsley – KPRC’s Chief Meteorologist

According to Frank Billingsley, “It’s coming, it is going to be a big one, and it is not going to miss us.  This one is ours.”  With Hurricane Ike charging toward the Texas Gulf Coast, his Houston audience filled bathtubs with water and piled blankets, radios, water, and dog beds into interior closets of their homes.  They were ready to shelter in place.  Since 1995, Frank, the chief meteorologist at

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Introducing Patty Russell and Her Groom’s Cakes

As we chatted with the baker at an upscale Italian bakery in a trendy section of Brooklyn, my son and I explained what we wanted. The gentleman, who had been baking panettone and cannoli and biscotti in this neighborhood long before it turned hip and cool, looked at us with a slight amount of distaste— and a whole lot of surprise. “You want two cakes at this wedding?” he said.

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Jim Laurent and His Brahman Cattle

Jim Laurent relaxes with a book in the straw-filled “home” he and his wife share in the cavernous exhibit hall. Their area is tidy and swept, and a crockpot of chili simmers on a cloth-covered portable table. The background noise is a constant and comfortable lull—the bellow of goats, pigs, and cows. One of the largest and wealthiest rodeos in the world, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo runs for

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Brian Castillo – Adaptive Snow Sports at Park City’s National Ability Center

For those of you who don’t know the quiet thrill of sliding down a mountain – carving out turns and leaving tracks in the snow, relishing the scenery and the solitude – it is exhilarating.  And always a little bit out of my comfort zone.  When I try to imagine doing this with one leg, no sight, or without the ability to use my body to lean into a turn

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Chris Pence – What Does a Sound Engineer Do?

Since moving to Nashville, I spend more time listening to live music in a variety of venues around town. After all, this is Music City.  Aside from raw talent and lots of practice, I never think about what else makes for an outstanding show.  According to Chris Pence, a sound engineer with country and pop bands, “When everything at a show sounds great, the artist is wonderful!  But when things

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Barbara Heilman and UnbuckleMe

Eager to care for her brand new granddaughter, Barbara Heilman’s first order of business was to shop for a car seat.  She couldn’t operate the model her daughter, Becca Davison, owned, and she wanted something easy to use.  However, when Barb and Becca returned from their shopping trip, Barb was frustrated and slightly panicked.  She didn’t have the strength to unbuckle any of the car seats in the stores.  When

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Brian O’Connor – Good Dye Young and a Farm with a Purpose

Thirteen years ago, Hayley William’s hair stylist was out on leave, and Brian O’Connor was her next available option. Making small talk as she sat in his chair, Brian asked Hayley the basic questions about what she was doing and where she was working. Laughing now, as he recalls their initial conversation, Brian said he secretly rolled his eyes when Hayley told him she wrote and sang songs.  Of course

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Xima Lee Hulings and Walking Papers Studio

Showing me around her meticulously organized and overflowing art studio, I have a hard time keeping up with Xima Lee Hulings.  Amidst pens and paints and textiles and even a blow torch, she talks about her life and paintings and projects in her rapid-fire, exuberant way.  Inspiring and educational, she motivates me to make a mess and create something.  Because, as Xima laughs out loud and says, “Life is an

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Bruce Tyler – Give Without Expectations

I recently accompanied a friend to the hospital for a routine, albeit still unsettling, outpatient procedure.  Sitting in the waiting area, I noticed a gentleman staff member, dressed in scrubs, who escorted patients to their assigned medical spaces.  As he greeted and directed a constant flow of patients, I continued to watch and listen to him.  He captured my attention by being an exception.  In this world of instant gratification

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Meet Mary Hance – The Tennessean’s Ms. Cheap

I have talked about my mid-life move to Nashville—no friends or family here,  kids grown and gone. Arriving in town, I read everything I could get my hands on about happenings in our new city. I searched for ways to meet people and create a sense of belonging. Now it is two years later. Mary Hance agrees to meet with me, and I feel like I already know her. Unbeknownst to Mary, she was

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Jade Roser – Cheekwood’s Holiday Lights

On a gloomy Monday in October, this Nashville treasure swarms with activity.  Despite the misty morning, a crew works to put finishing touches on transforming the 55-acre botanical garden into a magical, holiday wonderland.  As we stroll around the Cheekwood estate and grounds, built with the Maxwell House coffee fortune, Jade Roser gives me a behind-the-scenes look into how Holiday Lights comes together.  With his easy going, infectious enthusiasm, Jade

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A Ride Along With Officer Allen Cantrell

The sergeant-in-command directs me to the room where roll call is about to start. Reminiscent of police tv shows, the two sergeants discuss the priorities for the day to the 30 or so police officers gathered. A murder suspect was apprehended overnight, so locating him is no longer a high priority item for these day shift officers. As I sit at my table and look around at the quiet and

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Tim Halperin – Songwriter, Vocalist

If at first you don’t succeed…His first American Idol tryout was a bust. A few years later, Tim Halperin borrowed a buddy’s laptop, pulled up a seat, and sang a cappella for a webcam audition. This time around, he ended up in Los Angeles on a wild, musical ride. As we discuss Tim’s  2011 American Idol adventure, his strong faith is evident. A finalist during season 10,  Tim believes he

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Charles Curtis – Creating Masks For Movies and Collectors

As I meet with people, I continue to hear the same message over and over.  To expand personally, we must seek challenges and bring novelty into our lives. Making an effort to learn and do new things enriches our world and creates excitement.   Always willing to explore new territory, Charles Curtis stumbled upon an engaging and lucrative career because he gave something different a try.  About 50 years ago,

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Intrepid Sojourner Beer Project – Denver, CO

I became of age in a Heineken, Budweiser, Michelob world – and Coors, brewed with “Rocky Mountain spring water,” was something a little more special.  Admittedly, ordering a beer used to be a simple task.  Nowadays, deciphering choices in the craft beer world can be complicated and overwhelming.  Lager, ale, IPA, hops, barley, amber, abv, malt, mash – I just want something I actually like to drink.  In a city

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Angels Reuse Furniture to Re-New Hope and Lives

We downsized significantly when making our move from Houston to Nashville two years ago.  Sorting through piles and years of stuff, we boxed up those things we truly loved.  Not only is it emotionally difficult to part with your belongings, but it can also be physically challenging.  We had a tough time finding organizations and people willing to inherit all the beautiful, in our opinion, things we chose to leave

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Alex Snodgrass and The Defined Dish

We sit in her backyard on this lovely, balmy September day in Dallas, Texas.  As I eagerly devour her beautifully presented creation that is my lunch, we talk about how much The Defined Dish has grown since it began, basically, at the start of this year. Alex Snodgrass is the perfect example of finding what you love to do and turning it into a livelihood. With a huge smile, she

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The Fascinating World of the Honey Bee

While gathering nectar for food, honey bees carry pollen between flowers, shrubs, and plants. In turn, these crops thrive and reproduce and keep our food cycle going. Without the honey bee’s continual pollination, our food crops – and nourishment for our livestock and other animals – will die off. Several weeks ago, I spoke with Roger Senechal about what I might expect to see during last month’s total solar eclipse.

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