Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful in 2012

*Due to the length of the article I am refraining from adding pictures. I hope you and yours have a very Happy Thanksgiving!*

On this eve of Thanksgiving I am reminded of all that I am thankful for in this year. My life has been touched by so many wonderful people – some who simply passed by and others who are lifelong friends.

I hope you can join me in reminiscing about the last twelve months and remembering all those for who you are thankful.

My list in no particular order:

Michele Rahal and Steve Waid – These two men deemed me a worthy employee and hired me after reading a “trial” article I penned. Their support, guidance, and platform have made me a far better writer and given me both confidence and validity in my career. My tenure at I am most proud and thankful.

Jay and the Fans of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Fan Page – After writing an article about the late great Dale Earnhardt and promoting it to all I thought would care, Jay contacted me and asked if he could share it on his group page. I said “sure”. Little did I know that page had so many people – 500,000 at the time – and that my work would get featured there regularly. Jay’s support, graciousness, and friendship has meant the world to me. Having my work exposed to this group – now over 550,000 strong – has upped my numbers, added fans of my writing and radio work, and brought me in closer contact to the NASCAR fans.

Ronnie “Crate” Payne and Keith “Sinista 1” Hayes – After Homestead-Miami last November I was fortunate enough to do a one-off radio show with Crate and a friend of Keith’s. Crate and I had instant chemistry and could talk about NASCAR endlessly. The other fella just didn’t click, but I knew Keith would. Creating “Drafting the Circuits” and having these two great men co-host the program with me was one of the very greatest things I did this year. I am most thankful for their professionalism, work ethic, and friendship.

Gray Warren – A Facebook friend who consistently “Like”d my work, chatted with me, and made me smile, Gray became a guest of “Drafting the Circuits” in the early on. His work at Richard Childress Racing (RCR) along with his long history in NASCAR was what I was fascinated by and his great radio voice and infinite stories are what led to me asking Gray to be a co-host of the program. Gray is another man whom I am most thankful and who I am more than proud to call friend.

Lisa Lane – My oldest son had an eye problem diagnosed at the beginning of the year as “convergence insufficiency”. It was correctable by seeing an eye specialist and getting eye therapy – a special program to fix the way the brain used the eyes. Our doctor was good, but our therapist was extraordinary. A knowledgeable, patient, friendly, cool, and all-around wonderful woman named Lisa tasked my son each week for over three months. My son did all that was asked of him and more. She was thrilled with his progress as were we. Problems that used to plague my son throughout his life like reading, focusing on the written words, and more were no longer an issue at the end of his months of therapy. Lisa was a miracle worker to us. She was a friend, too. We no longer get to see her, but she is someone for whom my son and I will always be thankful.

Pat Leone – My husband chaired a race event at Pocono Raceway and hired professional flaggers to run the event. Pat was “control” – the boss. Within minutes of meeting we were the fastest of friends. By the time we left at the end of the weekend we had plans to attend the NASCAR race that was scheduled in a few short weeks – me as media with credentials I had earned at and my husband working for Pat in security. Pat made a situation that seemed undoable into one that happened. I not only gained a fascinating and invaluable experience by attending a NASCAR race, but I gained a valuable friend in Pat.

My Parents – To ensure I could go to the races twice this season my parents stepped up big time. First they watched our children for a long weekend so we could go to Pocono. Next they helped defray the cost of getting me to Miami from New Jersey to get the job done. They are constantly believing in me, helping me, and cheering me on offering solutions at times when none others are presenting themselves. I am most thankful for them still parenting me.

Andy Delay and Bob Steele – My radio work garnered the attention of another radio man, Andy Delay. He invited me to do a five minute stint on his program “Burning Rubber Radio”. I did, we hit it off, and the rest, as they say, is history. My role morphed from a five minute segment to co-hosting duties. Another co-host on the program, Bob Steele, became my good buddy. He owns the Performance Motorsports Network on which “Burning Rubber Radio” is aired as well as “Drafting the Circuits”. Our professional lives continued to intersect and culminated in the three of us going to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the NASCAR Championship races. We did tons of LIVE radio work as well as taped interviews and gathered information for my articles. By the end of our weekend we were considering ourselves The Three Musketeers! And I knew in my heart these men were my forever friends.

My readership/listenership – I love what I do with a passion. Having an engaged, caring, supportive, interactive, and loyal group of people to read my articles and/or listen to my shows is so glorious that I am truly at a loss for words. Thankful? You bet, to the nth degree!

Coach White – My boys wanted to play Little League. We signed them up. My middle boy had a nice coach. My oldest boy had an exceptional one. Coach made baseball accessible to my boy who heretofore had never played. He encouraged my son when he seemed hopeless, challenged my son to get better, and used humor and firmness to reach all of the children. Having my son’s first team sport experience be with Coach White is something I am most thankful this year.

Friends – There is no substitute for dear friends who make you laugh, keep you company, identify with you, and keep you grounded. During Hurricane Sandy and the resulting aftermath we relied on our friends like never before and they on us. Knowing that we had true friends to do that with is something I am most thankful this year.

My Children – They cheer me like nothing else. They are and forever will be my greatest accomplishment in life. And I truly like them. I would honestly be friends with my children if they weren’t my own. I am always most thankful for them.

Samantha the Babysitter - We have always been most fortunate to have ideal babysitters who watch our children perfectly so my husband and I can go out and reconnect. Our current babysitter is another fabulous find who I adore and am so very thankful for constantly.

My husband – No matter what, he’s always at the very tip top of the last. Always and forever.

This is an abridged list. I hope this Thanksgiving your list runneth over along with your blessings.

Have a Blessed and Very Happy Thanksgiving from Chief 187™Chatter!

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