Celebrating Fabulous Friends

I have met some amazing people in my life. Maybe when I met them they weren’t yet amazing, but they went on to do and create amazing things. Yesterday I thought I would write a post about just  one of these amazing people. But this morning, out of the blue, I got an e-mail from a friend in Australia who I haven’t seen since I moved from Japan almost 17 years ago. We kept in touch for a while, but then lost touch as my life took me to multiple locations and I would forget to update everyone as to how to find me. Thanks to Facebook, LinkedIn and other sources, it is much easier to relocate lost friends nowadays, and I am lucky. Jacquie and her husband David fall into the list of amazing people. So today I am going to celebrate some of the amazing people I have met in my life, and highlight what makes them amazing. (I wonder how many times I can use the word amazing in one post?)

Cindy Baer at Work. Image stolen from her Facebook page.

Cindy Baer at Work. Image stolen from her Facebook page.

The woman who first inspired this post is Cindy Baer. Cindy was a friend from high school drama club. I don’t recall hanging out much with her, and we weren’t best friends (I’m not even sure I had a best friend) but drama tended to bring a lot of people together in fabulous ways. Cindy is amazing for so many things. She just wrapped a new movie called Odd Brodsky that she c0-wrote with her husband Matthew Irving as well as directed. (Side note–My picture might end up in the movie as I donated a little to getting it made).  But she doesn’t just make movies, which is amazing enough, she also formed a non-profit organization called Patron of the Arts (POTA) whose primary mission is “to help emerging filmmakers and artists fund art & film projects and find audiences.” Cindy also produced and directed the award-winning film Purgatory House which deals with real-life issues faced by teens today. Cindy’s work always has a message, and she is a passionate believer in using arts to change the world. She is an amazing woman. Cindy’s story gives me hope that with hard work I too can achieve my dreams. Oh, and for all you Halloween lovers out there, check out this trailer for Lizzie the Movie which includes Cindy as Lizzy Borden herself . . . creepy.

I met Jacquie Cheetham and her husband David when we all taught English at a conversation school in Okayama Japan. They were an amazing couple committed to making the world a better place. From teaching English in Japan, they both moved on to Social Work and working for and with people who don’t have easy lives.When I was working on my doctorate, they had encouraged me to do a project in Bosnia, using theater to help bring back a sense of hope, because they were there at the time (or at least David was). I wanted to do it, but because of academic politics and other issues that project never came to fruition. Jacquie has focused on helping battered women, and I admire her for this. While we have lost touch, so I’m not sure exactly what they are doing these days (I’m waiting for her to accept my Facebook friend request so that I can fill in the details) I have always held this couple in my mind as two of the truly good amazing people in this world. They represent what humans can do, if they only think with love, not hate.

Kathy and Sara

You’ve all met this woman, if only vicariously through our dear friend Kathy’s wonderful blog. But I now have the honor of saying that I met Sara live and in person. I can’t do justice to the amazing things that both Kathy and Sara have done. Sara has truly committed her life to helping in places many people fear to tread. Even though we only spent a short time together, I feel so lucky to count both of these inspirational women as friends. I feel inspired by who they are and what they do. Two truly amazing people. Kathy can do a better job sharing with you some of their experiences, but I had to include them here, because I realize that I have met amazing people at every turn in my life. I’m really lucky that way.

The list could go on and on and on, but perhaps I will reserve more accolades for a later date. Now, I have a duty to fulfill. Sandi at Ahhsome BOO’ed me today, as you can see by the fabulous addition to my sidebar, so I would like to BOO a few people too:

You have now officially been Boo-ed, pass it on if you feel like it. No pressure.

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