In the Land Where the Indians, Lattes, Chocolate Cobblers and Haunted Theaters Roam

I first met Channa Morton last September.

Me. Channa.

Me. Channa.

She and her friend and colleague Tracie Delano at the Northeastern Tribal Health System in Miami (Miam-uh), OK, invited me to speak for a fun and festive annual event, the “My Life” conference for girls (read my fun Travelogue about that event HERE).

Channa and I bonded instantly.

It took all of five minutes for us to discover we share many of life’s main priorities – a passion for lattes, a fascination with that mid-western treasure “QuikTrip,” a love of pets, teenagers and of course fostering awareness of mental health issues.

But most importantly, we both cohabitate with parrots (parakeet and cockatiel, respectively).

Channa. Me. Salted caramel mocha lattes from Chapters, best coffeeshop bookstore on the planet.

Channa. Me. Salted caramel mocha lattes from Chapters, best coffeeshop bookstore on the planet.

We also seem to get sick in concert. When Channa showed up at the airport to pick me up for this event, she was on antibiotics for bronchitis. I was on antibiotics for a sinus infection. Happily, even our germs seem to like each other.

This particular event was a bit different from “My Life” but every bit as fun. For starters, the food was just as excellent (two words: “chocolate cobbler”). The night’s festivities also included a viewing of one of my favorite eating disorders awareness vids, “America the Beautiful.”

And of course, they wanted me to speak. Bonus! :-)

Of course no one mentioned anything about a haunted historic theater with a giant descending chandelier and an even bigger stage (in breaking news, it appears I have a stage phobia. This is different than stage fright. Fright is about the people. Phobia is about the stage.)

The Coleman Theater chandelier. You can't see the changing colors near the center....it is quite the thing!

The Coleman Theater chandelier. You can’t see the changing colors near the center….which I can report are every bit as intimidating as any other unidentified glowing celestial object if you happen to be a speaker who just happens to be standing right underneath it.

Me. Attempting to concentrate on speaking and not the size of the stage.

Me. Attempting to concentrate on speaking and not the size of the stage and its large pulsating overhead ornament.

A wonderful gentleman from McCallum Place eating disorders treatment center, Travis Stewart, also spoke. We met briefly last year in Iowa (you can read about that event HERE). He wasn’t intimidated by the stage at all.

Travis. Me. Channa. Ali (she is recovered too and had shared her story for the first time at her younger brother's high school just the day prior). Go Ali!!

Travis. Me. Channa. Ali (she is recovered too and had shared her story for the first time at her younger brother’s high school just the day prior). Go Ali!!

Then we watched the film. Or they watched the film while Travis and I explored the theater and discussed my favorite non-feathery subject – MentorCONNECT.

The amazing Coleman Theater lobby.

The amazing Coleman Theater lobby.

The enigmatic Mr. Coleman, who has spawned ghost stories with his "following eyes" (the portrait of his son on the other wall does the same thing!) and created a fortune in coal, which built the theater and later distinguished the Miami region as one of the largest EPA cleanup sites in the country.

The enigmatic Mr. Coleman, who has spawned ghost stories with his “following eyes” (the portrait of his son on the other wall does the same thing!). Mr. Coleman made a fortune in coal mining, with which proceeds he built the theater. It is also worth noting that, thanks to Mr. Coleman’s industriousness with coal, the Miami region is now known as one of the largest EPA cleanup sites in the country to date.

It was also fantastic to reconnect with Tracie, Donna, Leslie and Ali and just hang out and have fun!

Travis. Me. Channa. Tracie. Leslie. Ali.

Travis. Me. Channa. Tracie. Leslie. Ali. (Donna not pictured – darn it.)

But best of all, I found another priceless treasure at a local shop.

I mean – who wouldn’t want this?

A motto to live by. :-)

I plan to get started right away…..

My motto in action! :-)

My motto in action! :-)

2 thoughts on “In the Land Where the Indians, Lattes, Chocolate Cobblers and Haunted Theaters Roam

  1. Shannon, better late than never. As u can see I am a month late on viewing your very complementary summation of your time in Miami. Hope u r having some nice spring weather. Send your man Pearl greetings from me. Channa

    • I will, Channa! Aside from almost being blown away by winds (weren’t those supposed to happen in March?) we are having our few true spring days here. Yahoo! Mr. Pearl is doing quite well – looking very pretty – and looking forward to meeting Goku someday! Hugs

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