Friday, June 13, 2014

TN Sports Hall of Fame Luncheon Led to Siblings Finding Each Other

If you follow my social media postings, read my news column and listen to Living Your Best Life, you know I love to write about and talk to living legends. I also love stories that are often over looked by mainstream media. The influence of my grandparents made me an old soul young in life and a passionate lover of stories that impact several generations, have historical significance, and reveal the hearts of servant leaders.

In May, my goals were to interview individuals who were inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. The backgrounds of the inductees perked my interest. Anyone who had a Coach Joe Gilliam connection was at the top of my list to get to know and write about, men and women who severed in the military, and any story that makes me ponder silently,  "This sounds intriguing, I wonder if there is more beneath the surface." I would later learn that the 2014 Class of Inductees had all of the above and more.


I contacted Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame to inquire if I could bring Living Your Best Life to any of the events. (I literally can bring a "studio" anywhere to plug and play later. My mics and cameras record interviews to help me with my research prior to a studio interview.) After getting the green light from Lynn Toy, I packed my gear to spend a weekend downtown getting to know some of the most recognizable names in professional and collegiate sports.

While scheduling interviews, Lynn called to share this gem with me, "I can not say why but you should really attend the luncheon. It will be special. Trust me." No need to repeat a statement like that to me. I made sure I put the luncheon on my schedule of events to cover.

Champions Within Luncheon: Shaunn Casselle, Howard Gentry, and Brayden Lenius
Lynn urging me to attend the luncheon put me on a venture that ended with me introducing siblings who had never met each other. Both are adults who knew something about the other but each was afraid if their reaching out to connect would be intrusive or would bring heartache instead of joy. I was in contact with both and was hearing each of their stories about their father, Eldridge "The Lord's Prayer" Dickey, who meant the world to both of them. After many calls and emails to verify family stories vs. media fiction, I realized that both of them were actually piecing together their father's life over several decades. And neither had ever spoken publicly about their famous father. I felt as if I had found a treasure chest of priceless memories. I finally said to each one, "You should really met. You guys have an amazing story to tell." They both agreed and all of us are forever changed. God IS good!

Living Your Best Life has been a part of many momentous occasions. I have interviewed the best of the best; stories that have impacted many lives over the years by challenging and encouraging us to dig deeper than media sound bites. But I had never been so empowered, inspired, and motivated by two individuals who only wanted to express their love for the father. Much like David, their father was an imperfect man after God's own heart and served others until his untimely death.

What started out as a two part show has now become three. Many media outlets have reached out to me to get in touch with the siblings. Both agreed getting to know each other was their main priority right now. When I asked the siblings to be interviewed, I wanted to air a show around Father's Day to pay tribute to Eldridge Dickey's accomplishments in life and his legacy. But I also wanted to know more about the legendary football player that became the man of God his children knew and love deeply.


I hope you tune in to hear all of the interviews that will include stories from those who knew him up close and intimately; Eldridge Dickey's son, daughter, grandson, his college sweet heart, NFL Greats and college friends. Like Living Your Best Life's Facebook Page to keep up with the Tributes to Eldridge Dickey and follow my live tweets about the show on Twitter.


Champions Within Luncheon Photos by Courtney Sellers





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