At the end of March, I wrote a blog post entitled, “Playing the Odds While Managing Expectations” and the first portion of the essay told of the time in our lives when our youngest son played tennis in Florida.  We moved his high school experience to Sarasota so that he could have the opportunity to pursue his interest in tennis.  The goal was not to make it to  the pros.  A Division 1 college scholarship, yes, and anywhere after that was up for grabs.  The experience far surpassed our expectations in so many ways and there were lessons way beyond the tennis court that shaped and will continue to shape our youngest child’s life.  I’ve written about that time in our life in a few older posts.  For grades 8-12 he had an experience that will forever be etched into his life.  For us it was fun too.  At a time when some parents are ready to step into the next phase,  maybe a little early because all the other children have left the nest, we didn’t want to get complacent so to stay engaged, we decided to do something a little different for  his last five years of his growing up education.  We also got more than we bargained for and looking back, we all grew from it.  The tennis from Tampa to Naples is some of the best junior tennis in the world.  Our son had a great tennis education with  former ATP player, Cary Cohenour at his academy, Celsius in Sarasota.  Cary was hands on and although he had coaches working for him, he loved being on the court early in the morning with the kids.  He really got to get to know them and learned what made them tick, so he knew how he could bring out the best in them, FOR THEM.  During drills, as he stood behind them, near the baseline, he’d ask them about school, their families, their friends and anything else going on in their lives.  I realized this one Saturday at a tournament when Cary’s Dad came up to me while Zach was playing and asked,

A photo of Zach, on the left, along with his friend, Coley and Coley's coach Ali.

“So, how was it working with Tina?”

I had no idea what he was talking about or who Tina was.  The only TINA who came to mind was Tina Turner, as she is the only TINA I know of who is known by first name only, like Madonna or Oprah.

“Tina, Turner.  How was it working with her dancing back-up?”

Why on earth would he ask me that?  I had never danced back-up for anyone?  My mind was going through it’s Rolodex of experiences, hum? He surly must have me confused with someone else or some other tennis parent from his son’s academy.

“I’m sorry Mr. Cohenour, you must have me confused with someone else.  Surly I would have loved to have danced in Tina’s show.” Then it hit me.  You know how your kids half listen to you or half get a story right, well, quickly, the ONLY story the Little Guy could have possibly heard and got maybe a sentence or phrase out of that maybe got turned into this fantastic TALL TALE was that Madonna, another gal, known to so many by first name only, and I shared the dance teacher, Irishman, Christopher Flynn.  Of course, this would have been the situation that was the basis for this story.

“Mr. Cohenour, I think this is the origin of the story” and I explained to him how the story may have started and we laughed at how kids can construe something then pass along something that’s a total departure from the facts, almost like a game of telephone.

What a work ethic and talent Tina Turner had.

    TINA.  What a life, what a career, what a voice, what a dancer, what talent and what a comeback story.  When Oprah turned 50, I clearly remember that her staff put together quite a show which included Tina Turner descending from an opening in the ceiling, singing, “You’re Simply the BEST,” and then an over excited Oprah joined her at the mic to be her back-up (lucky gal!).  Tina had a tough life early on and her married life to Ike Turner was no picnic either.  Finally divorced and scarred from her experience with him, she picked up the pieces making a new life for herself as a solo artist and even went on to find love again with a man who love her unconditionally, even later in their marriage, giving her his kidney.  Tina was a unique performer who was a true entertainer but was willing to put it to rest when it was time and retire in Switzerland, giving up her US citizenship for quiet and simpler days.  Her music, videos and  images will live on and may she rest in peace…

Ron Desantis's entry into the Presidential campaign for the 2024 election got off to a rough start. His record as a Governor in Florida is one to be proud of. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has now officially entered the 2024 Presidential Race.  He decided on a new format for kicking off his campaign, a Twitter interview which got off to a rocky start. He gets credit for a unique approach and even though it didn’t go off without a hitch, he seemed to roll with it.  These things can happen in tech, we have just all become accustomed to everything being instant and remote control at the drop of a hat and we expect an immediate response or a quick search on Google or any other search engine.  What was surprising was a British narrator to his campaign video. A well known American voice may have been a better choice.  Regardless of  Wednesday’s hitches, he is another very qualified candidate on a stage of all very accomplished Americans ready to duke it out for POTUS.  Each one seems to posses qualities lacking in our current leadership.  Let’s hope the American people do their homework and we get someone worthy of the office who is willing to do what is necessary to, to right the ship.  A cabinet of all of these qualified individuals, setting any egos aside could possibly be a recipe for success.  It could be a street fight, in fact, the conflict has already begun this week with personalities from ABC’s The View, insulting candidate, South Carolina U.S. Senator, Tim Scott.  Sunny Hostin and Joy Bahar both had inappropriate and disparaging words for him, worthy of time off the air.  The Senator, a distinguished and honorable man did not allow himself to get  dragged into their conflict.  He is a man to be respected for his hard work and strong ethics which makes him a fine and very qualified candidate to run for the highest office in the land.  Read up on all of the candidates so that you are a voter who has done your homework in choosing the most qualified candidate.  Let’s see if Republicans can stick together and get behind one solid candidate.  It will be interesting to see if Ron DeSantis can entice voters or maybe his time has not yet come and maybe his work in Florida is not yet complete.  This is all just on the Republican ticket.  Who WILL the Democrat candidate for President be?  Robert Kennedy Jr. Has thrown his hat into the ring and California Governor, Gavin Newsom  is ready to step up to the plate too, should another candidate be necessary.  This all will make for an interesting 18 months or so.  The Primaries have a way of eliminating those not able to stand the heat in the kitchen.  I’m hoping the American people and not the press will be the judge and selector of the  candidates on both sides.  This has yet to be seen….

    Speaking of politics, it’s surprising that other businesses didn’t learn from the mistakes of Disney and Bud Light with activist causes.  Target and Anthropologie have now too followed suit with campaigns to show support for “targeted” (no pun intended) audiences.  North Face has a campaign set to launch in support of the similar issues as the above. Surprising that all didn’t learn from previous backlash.  Michael Jordan of Chicago Bulls fame and also known as one of the best men to every play basketball, “Both republicans and democrats buy shoes, why would I choose one over the other?” A very smart man.  Do consumers really want businesses to champion causes?  I don’t know, however, I DO think that if I had a business, I wouldn’t want to insult any portion of my customer base.  It’s just to hard to draw them back.  There’s enough we can all agree on and those issues we don’t agree on,  maybe those topics are best left to discussion for mature adults who can agree to disagree on or for those who respect those who may have a differing opinion.  Again, like so much, it all comes down to respect for one another.  We don’t have to agree on everything, and every citizen is entitled to their own thought and opinions and every person deserves respect.

    The Border or rather lack of, is a big problem. Immigration is part of the fabric of America.  We are a country of immigrants, I’m the child of one and couldn’t be more proud of that.  However, we cannot support, as a country what’s going on now.  People require resources and services that we need to care for our own.  Add too many people with too many needs and a social security net system will break.  Also it is necessary to know who is coming through the door for our own protection.  Supporting those who are here legally, and draw up legislation for fair and appropriate immigration might be a good place to start.  Other countries do.  I recently heard about someone applying for Swiss citizenship.  There is an extensive process to become a citizen of Switzerland.  They was to know who is coming in and why and what a potential citizen can contribute to the country.  It is a lengthy process.  Maybe not all bad and although Switzerland is a much smaller country the US could learn from their process.

    Lastly, right is right and wrong is wrong and there is both good and evil in the world.  In the news last week it was reported that governmental departments interfered in an election  and went after political candidates and their staff as well as  governmental officials iin high offices and their families, doing business with questionable individuals and governments whereas the United States’ best interests’ may have been compromised.  Those who sell out our country or do not have the best interest of the American people should prosecuted, removed and required to step down from office.  The American citizens deserve leaders and the best making decisions for this country.  Those entrusted with decisions on citizens’  behalf need  to consider each and everyday that they work for the American people and that men and women have paid the ultimate sacrifice for the rights and privileges we have here.  Those in leadership, legislature and judicial positions should be mindful of this each and everyday in each and every decision they make in their position and office, not taking their role lightly.  The country is at a precipice and tipping point, very much the way Europe was at a crucial point at the time of WWII.  Without careful and calculated leadership at that time from Winston Churchill, Europe may have looked much different today.  It’s a vision I really don’t want to think about.  This time needs leaders who are mindful of what is at stake and the consequences of their decisions.   Freedom isn’t free and once it is lost, it’s hard to regain.  Read up on your history, your candidates and consider what you value.  How strong is your Faith in what you believe?  What are you willing to do to maintain the life you live?  Questions for you to ask yourself and those you love.  There maybe some hard times ahead, some hard choices to make.  It’s easy to turn off the tv and watch streaming movies to get away from it all, and at times, that’s not at all a bad idea or thought, but at sometime, we or our children and grandchildren will have to deal with the mess in front of us financially and socially and there will be a day of reckoning when they  no longer will be able to kicked the can down the road.  No one said that life here on earth would be perfect, if fact quite the contrary, but we have to make the best of what we have here.  Educate yourself on what’s going on, pay attention and don’t be afraid to listen to your heart and how it is guiding you.  Pray for our world, pray for our country.  Right is right and wrong is wrong.  It’s good vs evil.  Where do you stand?

    Just a few thought going through my mind this week.  Wishing you and those you love a restful Memorial Day weekend to rest, recover and reflect on those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.