august 26, 2016

posted in: photography | 1

“Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless.
Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.” ~ Henri Nouwen

 

Debi Horton Hears a Who
Debi Horton Hears a Who

 

Back in the August 7th post I promised to tell you more about Debi Horton and I aim to keep that promise. For decades I’ve called her ‘Debi Horton Hears a Who’. That’s just who she is to me. In part, I suppose, because I’m wired a little funny, but mostly because she’s a hoot. A woman as hilariously funny as Debi deserves a special name. I guarantee you won’t find a funnier woman in Kentucky. Just look at the way she stands in the gif below with Jodi Stacy. Her body language screams ‘wild tale about something’. She’s got more jokes than Carter’s Little Liver Pills, but they’re not just wild yarns. They’re also a glimpse into Eastern Kentucky humor; how it has marinated and developed over generations. Debi is the finest example of the Hillbilly funny bone evolution as there ever was. I can’t be around her without snorting so much I become an embarrassment, even to myself. But let’s not get caught up in how funny Debi is because there’s oh so much more to her than rib tickling. She’s incredibly gifted in the arts, too. She’s a fantastic visual artist, creating gorgeous paintings and pastels. Of course, she hasn’t limited herself to visual arts. She branched off into beadwork jewelry as well. Perhaps Debi will be best known for her fiddling skills, however. Her partner, Mike Havens, has himself a bluegrass band, and Debi being a can-do gal, joined right in. Only a few years back she had never played a fiddle. She found her way around the instrument in record time, and now she plays regularly with the band. She sings a mean backup vocal, too. And when you finally brush away all this talent  and funny business you find one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet. She’s never met a stranger. She’s inviting and open; generous of spirit and time. She is, as Stacy Yelton would say, a good egg. I’m proud to call her friend. Debi Horton Hears a Who: I wouldn’t take nothing for her. (and if she reads this I bet she says, “Wouldn’t get much fer me neither.”)

 

two hoots and a holler
two hoots and a holler

august 7, 2016

posted in: photography | 3

“Life is constantly in balance ~ it takes only a moment to tip one direction or another. Honor Life in ALL it’s forms with Respect & Gratitude and above all else, do something worthwhile with the Life you have to help others.” ~ Tammy Jo O’Neal

 

Jodi
Jodi

 

There were so many people I loved yesterday that I didn’t really know where to start with the outhouse. So, I decided to start at the beginning, and that would be Jodi Stacy. If it hadn’t been for Jodi I wouldn’t have had such a magical time at Market in the Park. She was sweet enough to ask me to join in the fun, and even sweeter to let me in after I said no (I have to take time to think about stuff sometimes). She has always, always, always been kind to me. And that’s a lot considering I remember when she was born.

 

two hoots and a holler
two hoots and a holler

 

Now, here are just a few reasons why I love and respect Jodi so much. She’s a hard worker, and she’s smart. She’s passionate about our little town, and over the years, I’ve watched her work tirelessly to do great things for it, and for the people in it. She’s honest and forthright. She’s not boisterous or over the top, but calm and strong. We see our shero above with the infamous Debi Horton, whom you haven’t met until now (more on her later for sure). She was entertaining Jodi with some Debi Horton yarn or another. With legendary Kentucky folk artist Minnie Adkins (below), Jodi flashes her classic Jodi Stacy smile, and rightfully so. She did a great thing getting Minnie to join us at the Market. After all, Minnie’s in high demand. From neighboring Elliott County, Minnie has been a long-time supporter of art and artists in Eastern Kentucky, so I wasn’t surprised to see her at the Market at all. With Jodi, Debi, and Minnie, there’s no way yesterday could have been bad. I’m so blessed to be in their company.

 

all smiles
all smiles

december 10, 2015

posted in: photography | 1

“You might be poor, your shoes might be broken, but your mind is a palace.”
~ Frank McCourt

 

little sista
little sista

 

My dad loves Jodi Stacy almost as much as he loves me. He talks with her, laughs with her, worries about her. He genuinely enjoys being in her company. I think the feeling is mutual. Jodi works hard to make sure he’s happy and taken care of. It was a joy to be at their Christmas/retirement party, to see how much love and respect they all have for Dad. I’ve taken great comfort over the years knowing he was with people who loved and looked out for him. That’s something money can’t buy. In the corporate country we’ve become, finding a work family as good as he found at Bank of the Mountains is hard to come by. What a gift they are, each and every one. And Jodi Stacy is just the bee’s knees.

december 9, 2015

posted in: photography | 2

“Never regret anything that has happened in your life. It cannot be changed, undone, or forgotten.
Take it as a lesson learned and move on.”  ~ Unknown

 

they ain't right
they ain’t right

 

Dad’s retirement party was just part of the Bank’s annual Christmas dinner. They like to play games. One such game included four teams blowing up balloons, then stuffing them into panty hose that one poor team member then had to wear. Here we see our four unfortunate, um, I mean winning teammates donning their reindeer antlers. Left to right is Shirley (mom), Jodi Stacy, Travis Stacy, and Tebby Lykins. Four of the funniest, most kind hearted people I know.

november 7, 2015

posted in: photography | 0

“Be an example. Show kindness to unkind people. Forgive people who don’t deserve it.
Love unconditionally. Your actions always reflect who you are.”
~ Unknown

 

Morgan County Delegates
Morgan County Delegates

 

One of the things I’m proudest of in this life is being from Morgan County Kentucky. One of the reasons that makes me so proud is because of these sweet people right here: David and Rebecca Campbell, Jenny Bell, Jodi Stacy, Lori Campbell, and Jim Bob and Pam Meade. They all drove nearly two hours to see my exhibit.I can’t tell you how that touched me. Each of them hold a special place in my heart.

 

sweets
sweets

november 1, 2015

posted in: photography | 0

“The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit.
Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.”
~ James Allen

 

collage of happy
collage of happy

 

I had a guest register available at the reception. I didn’t realize I’d forgotten it until I went to bed Friday night. I attended All Saints Day service this morning and picked it up afterward. Sixty people attended Friday’s reception. Sixty people took time out of their lives to come see my work. Some I’d never met before Friday. Some sneaked in and out without my seeing them though they were kind enough to leave their signature. Some drove nearly two hours to be there. Some took off work. Some were recovering from major surgery. Some couldn’t stay long, and others stayed the whole time. Someone pointed out how many segments of my life were assembled in that room: family, close friends, old friends, new friends, co-workers, writers, actors, artists, musicians, librarians, bankers, software developers, railroad men, professors, social workers, therapists, pathologists, nutritionists, the list goes on. They’re not all represented in this collage, but I couldn’t think of a better way to have a group hug in the outhouse. Sixty people. I may be speechless for a week I’m so overcome with gratitude.