Sunday, December 15, 2013


Zero visibility.   Snow Storm - Looking out the window of my flight heading back to Nashville - only seeing white.  I've spent 2.5 months,  in 7 cities, 4 states meeting hundreds of people during "open enrollment" helping them sign up for benefits offered through their employers.  I heard amazing stories from incredibly hard-working, low-paid people.  Stories of losing children and husbands to bullets from the guns of friends and gangs.   Stories of losing mothers, fathers, aunts, friends to cancer.   Stories of working two minimum wage jobs to barely meet the bills.  Stories from single moms making $9 an hour with daycare bills of $800 a month, and medical deductibles of $3000.

With all the Shouting about not increasing the minimum wage, and how "those people" feel they are entitled, I wish the shouters could be in my shoes and have met these incredible people.   The last location I worked at was a nursing home for the mentally ill and alzheimer's/dementia patients.   I met with the nurses, nurses' aids, cooks, therapists, security, maintenance and all helpers.  In order to meet with all the employees, I had to cover three shifts.  To say I am sleep deprived is an understatement.  I could not have done it without the help of three amazing people who worked there - Thanks to Keith, Rita and Kenneth.   And now, time to zzzzzzzzzz.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Everything is Broken

This morning within a two minute period of time,  I spilled espresso on my bed; my computer charger died; and I received an email from Kyle Lehning,  husband of a woman I greatly admired, delivering the news that she recently died of uterine cancer.  Chris Caravacci.  She was an amazing, beautiful human being.  Warm and kind while equally a focused, strong business manager.

I am in tears thinking  Kyle’s loss of Chris - they had one of those rare, enviable marriages.  
Kyle Lehning and Chris Caravacci It pains me to think of her suffering a three year battle with that monstrous disease, cancer.  The hell of rounds of surgery, chemo, radiation. How it eats away at you little by little every day.   I lost my brother, Randy, the same way - beginning with the colon - surgery, chemo, radiation - then moving to the liver -  surgery, chemo, radiation -  to the lungs - surgery, chemo, radiation and finally the brain.  It was a long and terrible death.

There is no one and nothing to  convince me that anyone who suffers from cancer, Auschwitz or anything else is because it’s  “God’s will.”    No, no, no!
Do I believe God is good and can cause all things to work together for good for those who love Him, and Even for those who don’t?  Yes, yes, yes!

Life is beautiful and there’s always something to be grateful for.   But sometimes life hurts, love hurts, disease hurts and quoting a Bob Dylan song title -  “Everything is Broken.”  That is why the little kindnesses we show each other along the way are like air, food and water for the spirit and soul.  I believe that is God’s will.

I met Chris Caravacci and Kyle Lehning, then President of Asylum Records,  when I was hired by the VP of Promotions, to produce a listening event during CMA for radio programmers to hear Asylum's incredibly gifted new artist, Mandy Barnett.  Mandy became the voice/persona of Patsy Cline and continues to perform the Patsy Cline show in Nashville at the Ryman auditorium.  Chris Caravacci became the business manager for Scott Simon, who signed the Dixie Chicks, and managed Tim McGraw.  Kyle continues to produce artists like Randy Travis, Dan Seals and other greats as well as play incredible B-Hammond organ in a jazz quartet called Leonard Small regularly at Nashville's classy jazz bar and restaurant - F. Scotts.