The following transcribed message is a generous note from Jo Bonner written on his official stationary to me. His encouraging words on my one-year-old writing endeavor are the latest in a growing list from notables. Since last spring, I have repeatedly heard similar statements from area business leaders, as well as, from Alabama State Senator and attorney Ben Brooks (Mobile-R), former Prichard mayor and Fairhope attorney Jay Cooper. Most recently, I heard from Jan Love, Dean and Professor of the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, in Atlanta, GA, regarding my essay “Freedom and Slavery – A Cycle of Life.” Dr. Love thanked me and stated that she had passed my essay on to another colleague.
Last August, my essay written on the poor medical care of our soldiers and veterans at the hands of this U.S. Government was blasted all over Congress. Capitol Hill’s Roll Call called it, “A great piece.” Weeks later, I unexpectedly received correspondence in my mailbox from Congressman Ike Skelton (MO-D), House Armed Services Committee, Chairman. Simultaneously, I was added to the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) email group and began receiving progress reports on the Chairman’s travels abroad involving the committee’s work, announcements on future hearings along with the names of those expected to testify before HASC and his opening marks in daily emails. My works are quickly getting the attention of decision-makers across the United States.
Over this past year, all of my time, money and energy that was poured into my commentaries have produced many thought-provoking questions and offered up some unusual insights into the current political, social and spiritual landscape of this country. This includes my recent assessment of the city of Mobile that I shared in my original emails to Win Hallett and an assessment of the Mobile County Public School System that I shared with the new superintendent, Dr. Roy Nichols. Why are my observations hitting the mark? To put it simply, my two fingers are on the pulse of this city and our nation. This kind of talent can take an individual to the top of their field and in some cases, way beyond.
My request to this group is to ask how each one of you might be able to keep this positive energy flowing that began with me sitting down and writing my first draft of a memoir then led to me generating over twenty quality commentaries. This effort has triggered numerous compliments from many new admirers.
Just as U.S. Representative Bonner recently took time out of his schedule to express his kind thoughts to me about my recent emails to Win Hallett, it is my hope that this latest email from me will lead to members of this audience to stop and to read this plea for help and Jo’s accompanying endorsement of my talents and this venture. Please help to push this worthy cause further along to becoming a permanent reality.
Even, if your skeptical donation for now is simply giving me a half-hour of your time to let me share with you – a remarkable story – mine. Your potential investment of time, money or energy into my venture and in me, I can guarantee you will rank as one of the best and proudest decisions that you will have ever made in your life and assuredly a most rewarding association with this fellow human being. I’m going places. How do I know – because God has already revealed it? I understand the past, live in the present and can foresee the future.
For now, I ask only that you will take a moment to read and to reflect. If you have any questions, thoughts about my mission, my journey, please get in touch with me by calling or through email. Please visit my web site at http://www.toxicnation.blogspot.com/ to review my entire collection of essays.
Last fall, while in Barnes and Noble bookstore, I picked up a copy of John Maxwell’s Talent Is Never Enough, after reading another one of his books on leadership some years earlier that was to my very liking. Sitting in one of B&N’s soft oversized chairs on the Eastern Shore, I began to read Talent with great interest.
Surprisingly, on page 18, John tells the story of being invited to Mobile, in 2001, to speak to six hundred NFL coaches and scouts at the Senior Bowl. After giving a morning talk on teamwork, John attended an afternoon workout session in which the players were being tested. As John tells the story, Coach Dick Vermeil shared with him that the coaches and scouts have various metrics for grading the quality of a player.
The teams can measure the player’s skills, such as, their speed. They can measure their quickness, vertical leap and strength, but the one great unknown variable that no team owner, no GM, no coach and no scout can measure with potentially tens of millions of dollars in contracts at stake, future victories and defeats – is the size of the player’s heart for playing football at the highest level, in the NFL. As Coach Vermeil so wisely stated, “Only the players can determine that.”
Over the past eighteen years, my heart has grown ever so slowly overcoming obstacles, challenges, crises, and countless setbacks that were thrown my way. I have been repeatedly overlooked and underestimated. Never again, for the sky is the limit and the heavens are in my grasp. Today, my blood-red heart is strong as an ox and now fills up my entire chest cavity. Once more, I am whole with a solid backbone. I will make history and the world will be forced to take note, for I have arrived.
“Congressman Jo Bonner
March 19, 2008
I have read – with interest – your email correspondence with Win Hallett of the Mobile Chamber. Needless to say, I hope the Chamber or one of the others on your list are in a position to be of some help on your look for opportunities to fund your writing project.
You obviously have a flair for writing as well as a keen perspective on the ever-changing Mobile and Alabama. You may want to explore opportunities with one of our 4-year schools (USA, Spring Hill or University of Mobile) as well.
Meanwhile, thanks again, for sharing your thoughts. And best of luck on your path toward the kind of job you are seeking.
Sincerely, Jo Bonner”
I am available for speaking, consulting and political advising. My other essays can be viewed at my blog @ http://www.toxicnation.blogspot.com/. All essays are available in a MS Word format upon request. I can be contacted by email: email@example.com. Copyright © 2008. All Rights Reserved. “From the desk of Congressman Jo Bonner…” by Ted Burnett.