Sometimes I simply have preconceived notions of my guest for my weekly one hour global radio show on MJWJ every Wednesday from 11 am until noon.
As is my typical modus operandi I try to visit with the next weekly guest a few days before we go live on the air. It’s an opportunity to get to know the guest and maybe he or she might begin to feel more comfortable with me before we start talking to an international audience.
I generally explain a few simple rules such as we only invite ordinary people that have done extraordinary things in life as guests on the show. If they have had major problems such as a divorce, alcohol or illegal substance abuse, business failures or bankruptcy, served jail time, grieving over a death in the family or best friend, mental problems due to military service, debilitating disease, homelessness, etc. What I hope to find is how they coped with these physical, mental or monetary problems and got themselves out of the rut to re-enter the real world by achieving some measure of success. The purpose is to try to inspire our listening audience that you can win the battle when you think all hope is useless and foregone.
Getting their problems off their chest and being able to share their experience has usually been helpful to the guests. Frequently, they thank me for the opportunity to help lift the burden off their shoulders and explain how they are now understanding that everyone has problems, but there are common sense solutions if you take the effort to resolve them. Typically, it seems that it just takes hard work, effort and a resolution to succeed with a damn the torpedoes attitude. It’s full speed ahead. No more failures accepted.
I knew that today’s guest was a successful home and apartment builder who had voluntarily built a home for a military veteran. Based on my past relations with a number of prominent clients in the real estate business I expected a big fancy office, beautifully appointed with a busy bevy of executives.
To get from my place to his for our preview appointment I put his address in my GPS and started merrily on my way. Back in the 1950’s when I had my first ad agency office in the Heights in Houston the neighborhood was one-small moderate frame home after another There were two main streets with typical mom and pop stores. The people were primarily blue collar salt-of-the-earth folks. Nothing fancy. Just hard working get-it-done type men and women. Then for many years the neighborhood generally decayed and people tried to avoid the alleged crime and criminal activities by moving away.
As Houston kept growing and booming the Heights and Garden Oaks was rediscovered for its proximity to downtown, yet it still held some of its rural charm of a more friendly neighborhood. I was traveling up Yale Street looking for the business address to which I was headed. The street had changed from a tired old maid into Cinderella since my last travel that way. New apartments, multiple national chain stores, a choice of fancy restaurants, bars and grills all vying to attract moneyed visitors. I was so stunned by the viatality of the area that I drove right by the designated address. It wasn’t an office building that I had imagined, but an attractive 4 story gated estate. Inside were huge rooms that looked like a happy family could move in to live in luxury. I walked up the classic oak spiral staircase to enter into the untypical war room of a residential home builder, only to be greeted by a smiling, friendly guy with a warm and charming manner. Terry Fisher and I sat down for a chat where he quickly won me over with his articulate conversation and wit. Instantly, I knew he would make a terrific guest. My only fear was wondering if I would ever be able to get a word in once he took the microphone with his rapid speech pattern.
Today,Terry Fisher allayed my apprehension because when he spoke about his company’s role in helping to build a home for a wounded warrior who suffered major injuries when his truck was blown apart in Afghanistan I knew I was talking with a passionate civilian hero. We could use many more Terry Fishers. He built a major business from scratch, and has used his business skill as well as his money, to lend a helping hand-up to a courageous young Army Corporal who gave his body and mind to protect our freedoms.
My thanks and words of appreciation to Terry and his company for their actions in providing retired CPL. Joshua (Josh) Philippus a dream home with the special accommodations for him to move about freely. They both deserved a salute from my heart with grateful thanks.
If you missed the October 7th show it’s not too late to hear the replay. On your computer, cell phone or iPad go to Google. Then enter; www.soundcloud.com/mjwj.
The station masthead will come up; Scroll down to “TELL YOUR STORY” hosted by Earl Littman. Click on that, and then hit the red button to the left, and you will be listening to Terry Fisher sharing his story to the world. You will be glad you saw us on the radio.