Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Getting to Know You...

The very best part of freelance writing (besides the paychecks) are the interesting people I have the opportunity to get to know.

Typically, when you meet someone new, it's not polite to play "Twenty Questions" right off the bat. Getting to know someone is a process. Yet, when interviewing someone for a magazine, the expectation from the interviewee is that they will be asked many questions in a short amount of time. That puts "getting to know you" into hyper-drive. And that's perfect for a person like me. I don't like chit-chat. I want to get straight to the meat of the matter. Bottom line it for me.

I don't care how often it happens, it's still exciting for me to see a story I've written as the cover story of a publication. Just yesterday I went to my mailbox and found this:

It was fun seeing my article as the cover article, but it was just as fun seeing Barry Cannada's smiling face. What a guy. I had heard about him for years, but meeting him was a different story. 

We met in a conference room on the top floor of the Butler Snow building, where Barry is a partner with the Butler Snow Law Firm. His father, the late Bob Cannada, was one of the founders of the firm. Barry had some big shoes to fill.

The setting alone was amazing. Butler Snow spared no expense in designing their offices. I've been to several functions there, and I wrote an article for PORTICO a few years ago about the amazing art collection in the law offices. Still, every time I get off the elevator, I feel like I'm in a movie. They do it right. 

Barry came strolling in to the conference room with that same smile he has on the cover photo. It never left his face as he talked about his life, his work, his family and his faith. I was inspired by him and wanted to convey that same inspiration in the profile piece I wrote about him for the DELTA BUSINESS JOURNAL. 

I learned a lot about Barry and from Barry during that interview. He works hard and plays hard, and he has his priorities straight. He has led an amazing life, doing some very exciting things in some very exotic places, yet he is steadfastly in love with Mississippi. I felt a renewed sense of pride in my home state after talking with him, and I also felt that I am not living up to my full potential. 

It's my opinion that a profile piece like this should inspire people to do better. They don't have to follow Barry's path, but on their own path, each day, they can step up their game. I know I want to. 

Blessings to all who read this!

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