a great man has finished the race

This new trumps anything I was going to write about what’s happening in my life at the moment.

It’s with a heavy heart that I say my friend Steve has finished his race.

These are words that his daughter wrote:

“He was a true Renaissance Man.

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My friend Steve got me into racing the Silver State Classic Challenge. It was the most fun I ever had behind the wheel of my ’69 Charger!

As some might say, the Godfather of Open Road racing. A mighty good race car driver in the La Carrera Panamericana, Acapulco Rally, Chihuahua Express, Ensenada Classica, and Rally Media Noche. President of the world renowned Silver State Classic Challenge and Nevada Open Road Challenge for over 25 years.

A husband. A father. A grandfather. A stepdad and step grandfather. A friend to all. A man with a photographic memory who had many, almost unbelievable, life stories to share. A man who loved to dance, laugh and learn. A man who always carried himself with European flair but was a proud American citizen. Steve Waldman, who truly was the quintessential host.

Never has a man lived his life to this extent. He was challenged by life with the first breath he took and fought against all odds to prove the American dream could be obtained. 

You proved life can be truly be amazing if you want it to be.”  

You will be missed my friend. We’ll keep Gail in our prayers. We’ll keep our cars tuned and shining. Most important… we’ll keep our right foot pressed hard to the floor as we motor toward our dreams.

– John Schneider –

 

Excellence unexpected

Every now and then you come upon something that is totally unexpected.

Like a Lamborghini parked in a numbered space in an apartment building.

Greatness from an unusual place.

Today was such a day.

My buddy Wopat had stayed in a little town in Louisiana called Springfield during our last “Dukes Festival” here in Livingston Parish. Ever since then he’s been talking about this restaurant that I “just had to try.”

We are filming in Covington, Louisiana this week on a project I am not at liberty to disclose but I promise you are going to LOVE it when you see it…

Well… I’ve lived here for a year and a half and was sure that I knew all the really good restaurants.

I was right! Kind of… anyway.

This place is not really good… It is really AMAZING!

Tonight he and I and or agent and my business partner went to the place he’d been bragging on for nearly a year that is kind of right in my back yard.

It’s called “Lil’ Miss Winnies.”

It’s in Springfield, Louisiana at 32114 Main Street and I have to say that if there is such a thing as a 6 star restaurant… this is it!

The food was amazing… the people who work/own the place are delightful and the price is a quarter of what it should be.

Again you see my passion for family run restaurants. There is something to be said for people who are “All In” in their place of business.

If you ever come thin way and if you are a lover of truly amazing food well presented, prepared and served… You have GOT to go to Lil’ Miss Winnies.

I promise… you will not be disappointed.

In fact… I would go as for as to say that you need to put a trip to Springfield on your “to do” list if you should ever come to New Orleans. The food here is a wonderful compliment to the tastes you will get there. The town is tiny and you would never expect to find culinary excellence in this delightful little room.

‘Nuff said.

Do you have a memory or story about excellence in an unlikely place? A surprise of superiority?

Do tell!

Yes! I got it back!

A few years ago I made a movie called “Collier & Co.” Many of you likely saw it. Hopefully you watched it with your kids and it reminded you of a certain show you used to watch when you were a kid! Truck___Trailer_For_Sale_004

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If you like cars… you will LOVE this movie!

I have been wanting to make another one because not a day goes by when someone doesn’t bring it up. “What happened to Collier 2?” they would say.

Here’s the story: The folks who distributed the film on DVD moved a lot of DVD’s. Several hundred thousand of them I believe!

Well… when the company went bankrupt… they never paid me.

Not a dime. Let me say that again… not a dime.

Not one… thin… dime.

Long story short… I loved that film… I lost my butt on that film… and to be honest… I lost some of the respect of my family on that film.Back_of_CD_box

I even thought I sold the “car-star” of the film on Ebay for almost 10 million dollars and was going to use that money to make “Collier & Co. 2”

The guy denied bidding. It was big news for a whole week. REALLY BIG!

Bummer. But that was then and this is now!

Don’t live in the past, John!

I am happy to be able to say that ALL rights to John Schneider’s “Collier & Co.” have reverted back to… John Schneider!

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Nearly the whole gang that made the film. Don Gilley (who did 20 jobs including stunt double and actor) took the picture!

That’s me. I got my movie back!!!

And here’s what I’m going to do with it… Some time in the near future my team and I are going to open what we are calling “THE WORLDS BIGGEST DRIVE IN” and we’re not only going to show the film but also have an open chat afterwards for an hour or so exclusively for those of you who saw the movie at the “Drive In.”

Pretty slick, huh?

I’m not sure exactly when or how much admission will be but I wanted you to be the first to know that this is going to happen.

Tell me what you think of this idea and please pass the word about the Worlds Biggest Drive In!

Enjoying life in the swamp

I wish you could hear what I hear right now…

…listen….

Beautiful, right?

There’s something about tree frogs and bullfrogs and… well… ummm… frogs. They have a certain rhythm, cadence and tone that I find very relaxing.

Getting the studio ready here has and is quite a chore. I like chores. Chores keep you young.

Today Robert and I moved a dance club or roller rink full of bench seats into the screening room. Pretty cool to watch a 1910 house come together from furniture you foraged from the out buildings! It has a certain randomness to it that I like.

I think that’s why I like the swamp so much. It’s random. Not planned. Not symmetrical. Beautiful.

I find that about every decade I have to escape to nature. The mountains, the ocean, the swamp. It feeds my soul.

What feeds yours?

It’s important to feed your soul. Don’t starve it. read, write, converse, walk, think… The good stuff.

I write every day. I read every day (check out Spotless & Friends on FaceBook) I workout every day, learn something new every day and I try to have at least one good conversation every day.

These things feed my soul.

Are you feeding yours? If not… it’s time to get on a steady diet of soul feeding.

Rethinking my fanaticism

Okay… don’t you think that an update for a phone should make the phone better?

I do.

And… don’t you think that if a company is smart enough to design a phone that winds up being your favorite phone ever that they must be a pretty smart company?

Sure. Makes sense.

Further… don’t you think that a company that is smart enough to make a great phone like the Samsung Note 2 is also smart enough to know that when they put out an update that is going to ruin your phone that they know it ahead of time?

Sad… but true.

Read that one again… I’m saying that they intentionally put out an update that people like me would naturally opt for because we trust them KNOWING FULL WELL that it was going to cut my batterie life in half and make my amazing phone not so amazing any more.

Intentionally is the key word here.

Why would they do that?

The only reason I can figure is that they were intentionally destroying a model of their phone so that the people who own it, like me, would have to go out and upgrade to the Note 3.

I mean… can you think of any other reason? Was it an accident that they destroyed the Note 2 with a single upgrade that did nothing but effect the batterie life of the device?

This makes me angry. I am a HUGE Samsung fan and am now having to rethink my position. My fanaticism as it were. (I have the television and just ordered their washer and dryer) I don’t like a company that would:

A – Do such a thing intentionally

B – Be uneducated enough to have done it unintentionally.

Anybody else out there with me on this?