A Visit With A Remarkable Man

I have got to go back and get something recorded.  And there’s not a lot of time.

I visited an elderly acquaintance in a nursing home’s medical center.  We’ve known each other around the theater for several years and, while we’ve had a few fun conversations and I’ve always found him charming, witty, and talented, we’ve never been close.  But I heard that he had been ill, and I had opportunity to go see him, and took it.

He has prostate cancer that has metastasized to the bones.  His mind is quite sharp and he says he’s not in too much discomfort, but he’s not going to get better.  He’s at peace with this.  But the time is short.

He mentioned that it had been his habit for several years to recite “A Visit From St. Nicholas” on Christmas Eve to a tour group he and his wife went with.  Health precluded it this time but he had performed it at the nursing home and the small audience was reportedly very appreciative.

I told him I’d be very honored if he’d do it for me.  And so, for an audience of myself and his wife, this elderly, smiling, frail, wheelchair-bound old actor delivered Clement C. Moore’s classic poem.  And did it brilliantly.

I absolutely have to get him to do that again, and record it.  Jaw dropping.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring……

God bless, friends.

Ty Unglebower–Advice for Freelance Journalists

What is your name?
Ty Unglebower

Can you tell us your occupation?
Freelance journalist

How old are you and where do you live?
39 and Knoxville, Maryland.

The most interesting place you’ve visited?
Probably Seattle, Washington. I was only there once for two days, but would like to get back.

Could you tell us a little about how Seattle caught your interest?
I was in high school, and Mom and my younger sister and I were going on a cross country trip. That was one of our stops. We spent two nights there, took several tours, and visited Mt. Rainier. I enjoyed how it seemed far less congested and claustrophobic than most East Coast cities I’ve been to, but still had plenty to do and see. The Space Needle of course makes it one of the more interesting American skylines as well.

Your favorite meal would be?
Spaghetti and bread.

Pet peeve?
Incorrect use of A.D. as pertains to years. It is properly “The year AD 1500.” Whereas most will write, “1500, AD.”
I also get highly annoyed with misquotations.

Where can we find you on the internet?
TyUnglebower.com
Twitter: @TyUnglebower

Looking at your website, you describe yourself as “writer, actor, introvert.” Could you give us some insight into why “introvert” makes your top three list of self-identifiers?
Introversion influences so many different aspects and processes in my life in ways that run counter to the conventional American social structure, it felt as though it would almost be false-advertising not to mention that I am introverted. To be open about this right off the bat provides some small cushion against the expectations folks often have about being gregarious, pushy, stimulus-oriented. It doesn’t solve everything, but it is a start towards knowing what I am and am not about if people know from the start that I am introverted.

Thanks for sharing that. Favorite movie?
Probably “The Lion in Winter.”

Are you married or have you been? Any children?
Never married, I have no children.

One thing many people don’t know you can do?
Truthfully, I don’t believe any of my talents are hidden. People who know me tend to know the things I do well.

What advice would you offer to freelance journalists?
Ask. Everywhere, anywhere if they are in need of a writer. Know what you like to write about, find a publication or paper or source that shares that interest, and just ask them if they accept freelance writers, or if they would be willing to let you try to write a piece for them. If you don’t get an assignment, do it all over again somewhere else. If you do get an assignment, do it well, on time, and still do it all over again somewhere else. Meet people connected with such places if you can, and if you cannot, at least compliment writers of pieces you enjoyed, even if it appears in national magazines. It’s difficult to find the work sometimes, and difficult to keep doing it, so writers ought to consider themselves somewhat on the same team, at least for a while.

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it?
I would devote more time to my writing in most cases.

Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered.
My first fully formed sentence was, “I can talk Mom, I just don’t want to,” at age three or so.

Could you give us a sentence or two about the greatest frustration you’ve faced in being a writer? How about the same with the greatest satisfaction you’ve found?
The greatest frustration with being a writer in my case is probably successful publicity, both for my work, and for my potential services. It’s difficult to find places for which to write more freelance material, and even more difficult to sell the fiction that I write and publish myself. Finding a way to be in front of the proverbial audience is frustrating, as is not having my work read by anyone/few people.

The greatest satisfaction I’ve found as a writer is when I do reach someone, and they tell me or the world about it. When I know I have entertained, or provoked thought, laughter, introspection in someone else by way of my writing, I’m contented to put up with the frustrations a while longer.

Thanks much, Ty. And may I mention also that I’m a fan of your work, and I’d encourage my readers to check out your website and Twitter feed. We appreciate you letting us get to know you a little bit. May the writing continue to bring satisfaction, and may you prosper in it.

Theresa Cox–Advice for Hobbyist Filmmakers

What is your name? Any nicknames?
My name is Theresa. Sometimes my friends just call me “T”.

What do you do for a living?
I am a self-employed hairstylist. It’s how I have fed myself for the last 20+ years.

How old are you? (You can lie if you want to.)
44. I don’t lie about my age. I am sure it is written on my face.

Where do you live?
Mills River, North Carolina

Any internet presence?
I have a blog but it’s just a place to vent. My Twitter account is woefully inactive. But I love showing off videos I have done over the years. Click here or search for ladyzahl on YouTube.

The most interesting place you’ve visited?
San Francisco, California.

Your favorite meal?
The meal I don’t have to cook, but some steamed asparagus sounds good right now.

Pet peeve?
My pet peeves are highly inconsistent. What doesn’t bug me today just might irritate me tomorrow.

Favorite book, or movie, or television show?
My favorite book is “Wizard’s First Rule” by Terry Goodkind. My favorite movie is “Starman” with Jeff Bridges. My favorite television show is Star Trek: The Next Generation.

If people want to pray for you, they could pray for…….?
My nephews. They have me as their guardian and I may not know what I am doing.

Are you married or have you been? Any kids? Grandkids? Pets?
I was married until I got traded in. No plans for other marriages are in the works. I have one daughter and 2 granddaughters, 8 years old and 2 months old. Sadly, they live in Alabama. I also have a cat that believes he is a reincarnated Egyptian god. He thinks he should be fed anytime he meows. I keep having to remind him that we aren’t in Egypt and that the Egyptians rang the cats’ necks and mummified them. Thus far, my words have no effect.

One thing many people don’t know you can do?
Most people don’t know that I speak two languages, English and Spanish. Three if you count pig Latin.  I also can play clarinet.

Where did you learn Spanish?
I am self taught. Many Hispanic clients would come to the salon where I worked with a translator. The translators never seemed really comfortable with telling me what the clients wanted, which made me nervous, so I decided to learn their language so I could communicate with them myself. I bought books from the college and when I had a working knowledge of the language I immersed myself in it. I would watch TV in Spanish and would go to online chat rooms where people spoke Spanish, made lots of embarrassing mistakes but they helped me learn. I still make mistakes and construct sentences weirdly sometimes but I could get by in a Spanish speaking country if necessary.

If you had any spare time, what would you do with it?
I would either create things or film things or sleep.

Tell us some interesting things about yourself that aren’t already covered.
I am an amateur actor, and director. I directed “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Miracle Worker.” “The Miracle Worker” thus far is my favorite. I also film and edit videos. I don’t have fancy cameras and such but I make do. I love to do all kinds of crafts from polymer clay to painting, crocheting, paper crafting, etc.

What sorts of things do you do with polymer clay and papercrafts?
I do all sorts of things. With polymer clay I usually use it to cover other things like bottles and such. I bought a silhouette cutting machine and I have been busy making decals and such. At times I crochet doll clothes. It all depends on the mood.

Can I show my readers this sculpture you made?

You can use whatever pics you need.

Thank you!  I enjoy your videos. Anybody interested can check out a lot of them here or your previous link. Can you give us some advice for hobbyist filmmakers?
Hmmm. Be open. Don’t be afraid to ask opinions or share credit. Don’t get boxed in, be willing to bend, particularly when working with actors. Also, keep it short and sweet. I have watched hour long videos that could have been trimmed down to five minutes and could have made more of an impact. Beyond that, don’t film your neighbors unless they want you to, keep it clean, (that way more people can watch it), and keep it safe.

Thanks much, Theresa. We appreciate you letting us get to know you a little. Stay creative!