Thursday, December 29, 2005

An Off-the-Cuff Serial Autobiography: Positive Influences on My Life (B)

People Who Have Influenced My Life (Part B)

(Outside of God and My Family Members)

This is the second part [Here's the first.] of my exploration of the influences on my life outside of family and God. These are mostly more famous folks whose influence was through their work, writings, recordings, etc. But I also include a few community theater friends, pastors, teachers, and personal friends.
As I brainstormed lots of names came up. Some with huge effect on my life and others with less dramatic, but still important, influence. So here we go again.

(In no particular order)

Erick Fromm, author, for his definition of love. See my recent post on love.

Pete Seeger, singer/activist, (yes, an old Commie), like several others, for living his beliefs, for being the same person in person as on stage.

Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, Hubert Humphrey, Charles Weltner, John Lewis, public figures who have taken risks to do right and inspired me to want to impact the world in a positive way.

Robert E. Lee, soldier, for his loyalty, devotion and honor.

Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Franklin, Lincoln, T.R., Wilson, FDR, Truman, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, Bo Ginn, Ellis Arnall, Wyche Fowler, Sam Nunn, Buddy Childers (I'm going to write a , for their influences on my political life.

Wesley, C.S. Lewis, Camp Glisson counselors, Bill Landiss, James Sanders, Paul Hanna, George Freeman, Grant Magness, for their influences on my ethical, moral, and religious beliefs.

Twain, Shakespeare, Frost, Housman, Donne, Keats, Marvell, Nash, Whitman, Hopkins,
Tolkien, Dickey, cummings, Ciardi, Shel Silverstein, Professor Arthur Brestel, Gene Stewart (MYF friend and poet), Pat Alger (Camp Glisson friend and songwriter), Mrs. Howel (11th grade English), for influencing me to write, or influencing how I try to write.

Famous actors like:
Lee Strasburg, James Stewart, Alan Arkin, Topol, Olivier
Community actors or directors like: Cecelia Dawson, Rudy Childs, Brian Sikes, Barbara Myers, Nora Rouse, Wain Bates, Virginia McChesney

Community musicians like: Rachael Jones, Bob Jones, the other Bob Jones, Brian Horne, Angela Flanegan, James Willis, Sam Baltzer

Pete Seeger (again), Steve Allen, Donald Davis, Ed Stivender, Bill Harley, Ed Kilbourne, for their influences on my storytelling.

In some of these categories it feels downright dishonest to leave out family members. A few quick examples of many: I wouldn't have gotten back into acting without Brannon's influence. My love of storytelling stems pretty directly from listening to Bible stories from Mother and family stories from Daddy and Daddy Shaw. And although we have many philosophical and political differences, my two older sisters and their husbands were huge influences on my life, especially in my adolescence.

It's been fun remembering and evaluating the influences on my beliefs and behaviors. Maybe I'll choose in the future to explain more fully how some of these folks have influenced me. I know I am leaving out many and I'll want to revise this in the light of day and a little more reflection. It's a beginning.

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