The Luncheonette

Special Edition

A Weekend of Heroes at New Queens of Country 2022

What is a hero? This is a question I have pondered over this past week. Our Southern Fellow family celebrated this year’s New Queens of Country Showcase last Saturday. Sadly, this event almost didn’t happen due to hurricane Ian and a last minute venue change because of the storm. Yet, with the help of a handful of people, we were able to persevere.

Merriam-Webster renders the meaning of this short word in around five different ways. Yet, as definitions go, they are pretty vague. For me, the reason for such ambiguity is that the qualities needed to be a hero differ in every situation. Last week, Our New Queens of Country Showcase was a sinking ship, and I was chained to it. At the time, I saw myself sinking emotionally and financially. Watching myself slide is one thing, but taking many people I love with me would be unbearable. So, with only a few days left, unexpectantly lifelines were thrown out from old and new family members. Because of this, I saw heroes in the faces of 10 artists, four sponsors, and one wine venue owner.

I first want to talk about my co-host. Jordan Mohr has had my heart since day one. Despite the millions of things I’ve asked of her, she has never told me no. But, this week, I feared it might be too much. After the hurricane, I had no cell or internet. This made organizing such an event extremely difficult. Not only that, but the added stress triggered multiple seizures. Jordan had to step up and be Southern Fellow for a few days. Looking back, I don’t think I could do what I do without her. Jordan has proven herself as a leader and a person who could run this family better than me. She is a hero.

Secondly, I have to mention Jordan Redding. I know what you are thinking. That’s a lot of Jordans. If you look at our family roster, you would think God offered a discount on Jordans and Taylors, but there is more to those names. Jordan Redding is a prime example. He’s a man I look up to and hope, at the end of the day, I can put half the heart he puts into everything he does. Even though his truck broke down the night before, Jordan still showed up to run sound. He gave when it was not easy. He is a hero.

Taylor Teasley, Tori Hughes, Laine Lonero, Gabrielle Metz, Ashley Estevez, and Alyssa Marie are my anchors. They are constantly there, holding this family steady regardless of the size of the storm on the horizon. Smooth Sailing or stormy seas, they are always willing to lend a helping hand and share a few words of encouragement. These women are heroes.

Mandy Brooke and Allison Asarch may be new, but they are two of the bravest souls I know. They joined in at the last minute, not knowing how New Queens of Country would end up. Their raw faith in this Southern Fellow family helped tremendously in this resurrection story. They are heroes.

Saturday would not have happened without Olsen Custom Homes, Priscilla Chanfrau, Tina the Ice Queen, Mike for the use of his condo, and Evan with Sol Fishing. When other sponsors backed down, these amazing people stepped up. Eric Olsen always gives regardless of crowd size. Priscilla and Tina were always quick to use their resources to help with anything I needed for the event. Including finding a new venue and reaching out to everyone possible about all the changes the day before New Queens of Country. Evan helped us raise money for Charlene’s Dream and let some of our family unwind with a fishing trip after a crazy week. Our sponsors are heroes.

Lastly, I want to tip my hat to Linda from the Crimson House. Coming from the hospitality industry, I know taking our family in at the last minute was challenging. Linda had to gather employees, open early, and make more charcuterie boards than anyone should have to make in a six-hour period. Yet, she made her home feel like ours with amazing grace. She is a hero.

New Queens of Country 2022

Reflecting on last Saturday, I now know why the definition of “hero” is not as precise as I always felt it should be. Real heroes don’t always show up in a uniform. Sometimes they come sporting a guitar, fishing pole, or even a pineapple-bourbon popsicle. What is truly remarkable is how many we have in our Southern Fellow family. Thank you to all who give their time, talent, and treasure. Without you, this family would not be where we are today.

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