Life’s Playlist… Mama’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson

Who Shot JR?

On this date in 1980, one of televisions biggest cliff-hangers captured the imagination of the American public.  Who shot JR?

JR Ewing was the cornerstone of a wildly popular TV show on CBS called Dallas.  Long before the internet, social media or even personal computers, network television was where we found our entertainment.

If you were lucky you had four or five channels, NBC, CBS, ABC, TBS and PBS, back in the day when we watched those channels you had to get up out of your chair, walk over to the TV and change the channel….. horrors, right?!?!??

In 1980, Dallas was the number one show on television, it centered on The Ewing family, a rich oil family who lived in Texas.

JR was the dastardly, pompous tycoon, older brother who never saw a potential deal he couldn’t manipulate or a woman he didn’t feel entitled to romance, all while his wife sat home, drank vodka and popped pills.

During the 1980 season, JR had managed to create enemies with everyone, he had cheated his family members, business partners, mistresses and wife.

In the final scene of the season, JR was in his office late at night and heard a noise in the outer office, when he walked into the room to investigate, he was shot, falling to the ground and lying in a pool of blood as the credits appeared on the screen.

For that entire summer the country was locked in intrigue for Who Shot JR?  There were songs written, rumors surfaced, the mystery even made the cover of Time Magazine.

When the season returned in August, everyone was abuzz, not only did we not know if JR survived the shots, but we didn’t know who did it.

As the mystery was revealed we learned the would-be assassin was Kristin.  One of JR’s lovers and his sister-in-law.

During those hey-day years of nighttime soap operas, the shows would end every season with a great cliff-hanger, keeping fans interested in the show until it came back on the air in the Fall, but none of them were as big as WHO SHOT JR?

Life’s Playlist… Moulin Rouge skated by Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir

I am a figure skating fan, have been since I was a child.  I used to do some skating myself.

Watching skaters glide across the ice, throw their bodies into the air and spin multiple times in the air and land back down on an 1/8″ blade is pretty remarkable.

Some people say skating isn’t a sport….. I say BS.

Watch this performance by the Olympic Ice Dance Champions from Canada and tell me how this isn’t a sport… and INCREDIBLE art!

Life’s Playlist… Bugler’s Dream by John Williams

Today is my Day 17 of the Jeff Goins — 31 Day, 500 Word Writing Challenge.

The assignment for today is to “make a point and fight for it.”

Every two years the Olympics roll around, on a rotating basis we skip between the summer and winter Games.

The Olympics have always been one of those pivotal times in life where I stop what I am doing and invest in the days of worldwide competition.

I contend that the Olympic movement should be the governance for our planet.

As the Winter Olympic Games get underway this weekend in PyeongChang, South Korea, I challenge you to consider the possibilities.

Years in advance of the Games taking place in a City, multiple communities around the world compete for the opportunity to be named the host city.

Selections are made for the hosts by who provides the best presentation, offers the world the best “meeting place,” and can provide the infrastructure and support to welcome the athletes of the world into their backyard.

You don’t hear back-biting from the cities that lost, sure there is disappointment, but in the spirit of Olympism the communities celebrate the newly selected host and work harder in the next opportunity to score their chance at victory.

Where I think our world leadership could learn the most from the Olympic movement is on the field of competition.

When the athletes of the world gather together on the field of competition, they do their best to succeed.  You rarely see poor sportsmanship or fights.  They work hard for victory and when a competition is over, the participants shake hands and celebrate the victor.

In the world we live in, where leaders no longer lead, and we are so dug-in to our own philosophy and mind-set, isn’t it refreshing to see the youth of the world gather, compete and accept the outcome.

Certainly there are those who try to skirt the rules to give themselves an advantage.  Some get by with it, but most often, the Olympic movement uncovers those who don’t play by the rules and handle those who cheat by singling them out, expelling them and handling the issues with dignity.

Finally, the Olympics are all about excellence.  Everyone who qualifies through hard-work and dedication to their chosen endeavor are allowed to participate.  However, everyone is not entitled a win.  In the Olympic Games, there are no participation trophies, there are winners and others who compete.

I think if we found the world operating more like the Olympic Games we would find the world a better place to live.  People doing their best, competing fairly for the opportunity at victory and being awarded the top prize by being superior to the competition.

As you enjoy the Games of the Winter Olympics over the next days, imagine what the world would be like if these were the ideals of the governments, leaders and people of our world.  It could provide a way towards a much-needed acceptance, honor and celebration of what is possible, the joy of competition and the flame that would light a brighter future for us all.

 

Life’s Playlist… Hero by Mariah Carey

Day 6 of the 500 Word Challenge by Jeff Goins….. tell someone else’s story.

She watched her 11-year-old son, riddled with cancer, die a painful and grueling death.

I fist met her when a news report was featured on the local news channel in West Palm Beach, FL where I was living at the time.

Her child had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  The most brutal of all cancers, for a child to get the diagnosis was quite rare.

The news report told the story of a fund-raiser for the child that had been scheduled at his school.  Due to regulations, my friend had been informed two days before the event, that it would have to be cancelled.

The news unsettled me,  how this event had to be cancelled over stupid regulations added insult to injury for this family that had already seen far too many bad turns in their lives.

At the time, I was the Marketing Director for a local retail/entertainment center.  The story haunted me through the night and the next morning when I arrived at work, somehow I was able to locate the mom’s phone number and contacted her.

Within an hour she was in my office and we were planning the logistics to move the event to our center.

We hit it off right away, through the tragedy that she was enduring, we became friends.

The event came and went at our center, but our friendship sustained over time.  We kept in touch and she would give updates about her son’s condition.

About a year after our meeting, my friend’s son lost his battle with the disease.  He passed away in their family home.  His little body suffered and by the time he passed he was constantly in pain with his family suffering every moment with him.

During those painful months, my friend rode every roller-coaster of emotion imaginable never leaving her child’s side.  Since his passing she feels guilt, sorrow and a broken heart that will never mend.

Not long after her child’s death, my friend opened a retail store in the tiny town I served as a City Commissioner for.  The thrift and consignment store was opened as a charity to assist families of children suffering with cancer.

My friend had found a new mission, one that would honor her son and allow her to give back in ways that would help sustain other families dealing with the same issues she had endured.

From opening day through the years the store has been opened successes have been difficult to measure.  Financially, the store has never operated to its anticipated dream, located in the small run down shopping center of a neighborhood that was fraught with crime, drugs and prostitution, it was difficult to make a go of the mission my friend envisioned.

Featuring a wonderful selection of furniture, clothes, antiques and accessories, the store should have been a success, unfortunately the neighborhood blocked that possibility.

My friend always kept her head-up and worked towards her mission.  Through her constant grief, her vision to honor her son never wavered.

A couple of weeks ago my friend announced the store will be closing.  Her continued battle to make the store meet her vision would come to an end.

The store will close, but I know my friend….. her vision and commitment to families who are going through the unfathomable days she went through will not.

My friend is a warrior and she is guided daily by an angel that helps her put one foot in front of the other.  The store may be closing, but my friends broken-heart will go on, she will persevere, she has already done more than she will ever know and her journey continues, through pain she will continue to heal and help others in her child’s name.

 

Life’s Playlist…. Stronger by Kelly Clarkson

On this date in 1974, the Six Million Dollar Man starring Lee Majors premiered on ABC.

I was 10 and thought it was the coolest show ever!  About a man who had been severely injured and “re-built” with mechanical bones, ligaments, organs and muscle to become a super hero who solved crime and threats against the world.

As a child watching the show, I could have never imagined that just a short four decades later we would share the planet with people whose bodies had been rebuilt much like the Six Million Dollar Man.

In the seventies, the thought of artificial limbs that allowed amputees to do the things they do today was unfathomable.  Artificial organs, muscle and the advancements of medical technology for these catastrophic injuries was just a dream, today these realities have become standard.

Today, these super heroes walk among us, they accomplish great fetes and they live lives of honor, in the spotlight.  Today, these six million dollar men and women show us all what fight and determination epitomize.

They are stronger.