Thursday, January 25, 2007
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Martha Reeves sang the hits like Dancing in the Streets and Heat Wave. But after some forty years in the record business, at age 64, she wasn't getting the amount of work she was accustomed to. It was quiet, too quiet. So she ran for and won a seat on the Detroit City Council (2005). Her platform: cut crime, build tourism. She credits Motown etiquette coach Maxine Powell, who many years earlier taught her to build a life outside of music, because when the money and fame are gone, you need something else. So she did, keeping her roots strong in Detroit, and now it paid off.
How is the new life as a neophyte working politician? Hard work. To keep pace, she takes copious notes in council meetings, and reads even more. (Her desk is stacked high.) Still, there are bumps in the road, such as when a local newspaper reported that several of her commercial properties had code violations (she fixed the problems).
Her term runs to 2010. Will she run again? Maybe, maybe not. But as a result of her new job, and the attendant publicity, her concert bookings have picked up again.
He was known simply as The Blind Traveler--a solitary, sightless adventurer who, astonishingly, fought the slave trade in Africa, survived a frozen captivity in Siberia, hunted rogue elephants in Ceylon and helped chart the Australian outback. James Holman triumphed not only over blindness but crippling pain, poverty and the interference of well-meaning authorities (his greatest feat, a circumnavigation of the world, had to be launched in secret).
Once a celebrity, a bestselling author and an inspiration to Charles Darwin and Sir Richard Francis Burton, the charismatic, witty Holman outlived his fame, dying in an obscurity that has endured--until now. (from A SENSE OF THE WORLD.)
Friday, January 5, 2007
At 23, one year out of college, Marc Howard, a former Yale tennis captain was told he would never play tennis again. Two herniated disks in his lower back would prevent any running.
For nine years, he carefully obeyed the doctors’ dictum: no tennis. After he nearly lost a finger in a circular saw accident, he used the idea of playing tennis as a motivation to make it through painful months of healing and physical therapy. He had to play again, he says; it became a mantra.
One year later, he could hold a racquet. At first he played for 10 minutes, then 20, then 30. While his back was stiff, it didn’t feel any worse after his hitting sessions. Soon he was playing twice a week.
Tennis provided Howard, a college professor, with an escape from the dull ache he felt in his fingers, and it was good treatment for his hand. And for his back; it got stronger and stronger the more he played.
He became assistant tennis coach at
An amazing turnaround from a life sentence. He told the full story in January 2007 TENNIS magazine.