I was searching for an old blog post over the weekend when I stumbled upon a eulogy for a dearly departed friend and mentor. And, as readers come and readers go, some may not have heard about my friend George Nelson who departed terra firma two years ago this weekend.
We enjoyed a chance encounter the prior summer when we bumped into each other at the Madison Club...both of us vowing to get together soon. And, we never did.
I've lost a couple more friends this past year with whom I wish I could have shared with them how much they meant to me. When will I learn not to put off these opportunities?
This year, we offer a cautionary song written in 1969 that is just as relevant today as it was then (and maybe more so). There are a couple live versions out there...but, despite the grainy video, we're going to go with a version recorded at Tulsa's iconic Cain's Ballroom in 1981.
A few years ago, we turned many of you onto the House of Heroes' version of the Christmas classic, "O Come, O Come Emmanuel." And, it remains our favorite version because of Tim Skipper's stunning vocal.
But on this final offering of the season, we offer this amazing version, recorded at Milestone Church in Keller TX. Yeah...a church that so understands the power of music to energize the flock.
For your friendship. For your trust. For your laughter. For your passion. For your innovation. For turning us on to the best of your destinations. For enabling us to live this amazing life while helping many of you realize new opportunities.
Thank you. We are blessed to have such friends.
Now...go hug and kiss your family and friends around the Thanksgiving table. Put aside your differences and call a moratorium on drama (we've had quite enough, as of late).
I don't know how I missed this...but it was posted on YouTube before many of us knew there was a YouTube. Yet, it has stood the test of time.
They call themselves The Zimmers...and nine years ago, they posted this cover of the Who's My Generation. With a then-90 year old lead singer and a chorus with a collective age of 3000 years recorded at Abbey Road, the video is a sensational statement of the timeless impact of rock...even as they intone the line "hope I die before I get old." Because...they're not.
Years later, a much depleted version of the group appeared on Britain's Got Talent. One could easily imagine so many of the stars of the original video having passed on to their next world.
Like so many communities impacted by Hurricane Matthew, Savannah is just coming back on line. Like so many other residents, our friends from Visit Savannah are making their way back to town. But, as they do, they'll have a little bit of inspiration thanks to the responses to a status post on Facebook.
CEO Joe Marinelli picks up the story:
"I wanted to share with you how inspired I am by .... people .... people in general. Sunday, after being "dark" the last few days, we posted a message on our social media sites from me. The numbers in just over six hours are amazing by themselves (1,200 likes and loves). But take a few minutes to read the (over 100) comments. They're incredible and a true testament to the human spirit (and, a day later, the post stood at 2,800 likes and loves).
"One of the lessons our team learned from watching our counterparts after Katrina is this: until you actually go through something like this, you can only do so much to be prepared. We were ready and our staff has handled it. And we will continue to do so over the coming days and weeks. But, I will use the commentary of our fans to inspire (yep, there's that word again) our team to rise up, even though they have been relocated from their homes for days and will come back to no electricity, destruction in their yards and neighborhoods and so much more."
While none of us wish the kind of crisis that precipitated the group hug that Savannah (and other destinations) has gotten post Matthew, it is a warm reminder that we all build amazing friends and fans by inviting people to our sensational communities through destination marketing.