Long Lost Cousins

It was great fun sitting with Naomi Judd, laughing about how her two girls blame her for everything that went wrong in their life. Her two daughters, not like we are talking about two kids raised in the local neighborhood, we are talking about Wynonna Judd the country music star and Ashley Judd the movie star. Naomi couldn’t have been a nicer person. I spent time with her last year as she was a speaker at our Annual Epic Meeting. She seemed like someone I wanted to keep in touch with.

I have had the opportunity to meet dozens of celebrities, politicians and famous people, but Naomi is the kind of person I just love. She has never forgotten where she came from, she is humble yet incredibly brilliant. She reads like a college student about to take the MCATS. Her memory is just amazing, she even remembered my dog’s name from last year.

So many celebrities get caught up in their own success and forget that we are all just people , some are TV, some are on the big screen, some lead the country’s policies and some may just deliver mail but we are all just people. She will chat with the doorman or the waiter, just as easily as she does with Bono, who she says is a favorite of hers.

She will recite the latest research on brain scans or what doctors are researching to treat vascular dementia. She is brilliant, not the stereotypical country singer you would think of from the back woods of Kentucky. If she was in a business suit you could easily mistake her knowledge for a leading scientist’s at a World Health Conference.

But beyond that she is real, she is vulnerable and she is direct. Three traits I love about people, she is not afraid to say (before people ask) that she has had plastic surgery. She tells about her ordeal with abusive relationships and fight with depression. Then she doesn’t mind asking complete strangers if they have ever struggled with depression.

She is one of the most soulful people I have ever met. After spending three days with her this year, she left me by saying, “ I think we are cousins Dwayne.” Well if that is the case, I am honored to be a cousin from the Seattle Holler.

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    “I am confident this book will aid so many people traveling through this confusing and painful life journey.”
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