Blessed with good mentors in life, I’m grateful to carry their wisdom within me. They’ve been especially useful this year.
In early June of 2020 Dodie and I decided we had enough of the bad news spewing out of broadcast and social media.
Long before President Donald Trump’s presidency, I had lost faith in most American news outlets. They have lost integrity over the years—far from the way my Texas State University professors Jeff Henderson and David Yates taught in the late 1970s.
I enjoyed a last conversation with Jeff, in Old Main, the castle-like building setting atop the hill in San Marcos. We were in his office and I felt privileged to be back at the Journalism Department, but this was destined to be an especially memorable visit. I wanted to thank him as I had on the dozen or so times I returned to say hi since 1978.
“Jack, I’ve been teaching university level journalism for almost 35 years,” he said. “In all that time, you remain the most talented investigative reporter of my students. We’ve had exceptionally good students come through here, but you just instinctively caught on and blew us away.”
I teared up. He laughed, patted me on the back, then hugged me. We shook hands and said our goodbyes. He would pass away a few years later, in 2009.
There are still good political reporters out there. Susan A. Carter, Sharyl Attkisson and John Solomon are my current favorites. Honest ones, those who have not sold their souls to indoctrination, are rare.
As Dodie and I talked things over, we decided not to trust the news and go see for ourselves. The result was a 32 day roadtrip through 14 states and Washington D.C.. The result? The media had been lying or drastically imbellishing.
Everyone and every place (with the exception of St. Louis and Austin) was nothing as media portrayed. There were good and decent Americans out there all saying the same thing. It was clear we had been media scammed through the Russia-Spy-Dossier-Kavanaugh-Impeachment Gates.
Our confidence in Americans continue to soar. Since our return home to Texas in July, the momentum has spread through Trumptillas (boat parades) and Trump Trains (road caravans) in all 50 states. Hard as they try, the media can’t dim this patriotic power and energy.
Ralph Mehringer, the vice president of Facility Alliance (construction, engineering, planning, maintenance, energy and all things related) at H-E-B Food and Drugs based out of San Antonio, was my boss (1984-2006) and an important mentor.
He taught me to be calm in a storm. Afterall, he had been a Navy pilot on aircraft carriers and a candidate to be one of America’s first Mercury astronauts.
“If you’re going into battle be prepared and be calm,” Ralph said before the half-witted days of political correctness. “Pilots know the plan for any contingency. Make being calm your instinct, not your default. Have no fear. Trust in your God.”
So how do Dodie and I handle the pandemic, the media, and the threat of socialism?
We remain calm, trust in God, and for sure will vote in PERSON.
A few years ago, another facility guy, Pat Griffith, took a liking to me. He was over maintenance at Southwest Research Institute, an important science and innovation center in San Antonio.
In December 2016, Pat gave me a book for Christmas. It was Jesus Always, Embracing Joy in His Presence by Sarah Young.
Pat inscribed it:
I have enjoyed our visits so much and I admire your ability to retain such a positive attitude and love of God thru all the adversity you have had to experience.
Although it was God who has lead you through this day, my hope is with Jesus always you will feel the daily comfort, peace & security you deserve–
Sarah Young, the author of several popular devotionals, says her writing is “from the perspective of Jesus speaking” and is “consistent with Biblical truth.”
This evening Dodie read aloud the devotional for October 5th.
“Even though this was for four years ago today, listen how relevant this is now.”
Knowing my favorite Bible verse is Psalm 46:10—“Be Still and Know That I Am God—she get’s excited to share with me anything about giving it to God and being calm.
This is the devotional she read.
I WANT YOU TO HAVE NO FEAR of bad news. The only way to accomplish this feat is to have a steadfast heart, trusting in Me.
There is an abundance of bad news in the world, but you don’t need to be afraid of it.
Instead, confidently rely on Me—believe in Me. Find encouragement in My sacrificial death on the cross and My miraculous resurrection. I, your living Savior, am Almighty God! I am sovereign over global events; I am still in control.
When things around you or in the world seem to be spinning out of control, come to Me and pour out your heart.
Instead of fretting and fuming, put your energy into praying. Come to Me, not only for comfort but also for direction; I will help you find the way forward. Moreover, I take your prayers into account as I govern your planet—in ways far, far beyond your understanding.
Don’t dread bad news or let it spook you. Instead, keep your heart steadfast and calm through confident trust in Me.
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Raised in San Antonio, Jack Dennis’ early experiences were as a newspaper reporter and private investigator. With a Texas State University bachelor’s degree, Jack studied journalism, education and psychology. He was the founding vice-president of Sigma Delta Chi, the Association of Professional Journalists at the University. Jack has received numerous awards, including Investigative Reporter of the Year from Rocky Mountain Press Association, David Ashworth Community Award, and Leadership in Management.
Some of the people and groups Jack has interviewed include:
Elvis Presley, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Willie Nelson, B.B. King, George Strait, Roy Orbison, Justin Timberlake, Steven Tyler, Freddie Mercury, Kenny Rogers, Kenny Loggins, Jackson Browne, Steve Wariner, Tanya Tucker, Scotty Moore, Fats Domino, Patty Page, Tommy Roe, Emmy Lou Harris, Johnny Rivers, Charly McClain, Kinky Friedman, John McFee, Guy Allison & Patrick Simmons (Doobie Brothers) , Randy Bachman (BTO), Jim Messina, Todd Rundgren, Alvin Lee, Gary Puckett, The Ventures, Freddy Cannon, Augie Meyer, Christopher Cross, Whiskey Myers, Sha Na Na (John “Bowzer” Baumann), Flash Cadillac, Jerry Scheff, John Wilkinson, Darrell McCall, and more.
Politicians & News
George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, Lady Bird Johnson, Greg Abbott, Rudolph Giuliani, Larry King, Jack Anderson, Tom Bradley, Connie Mack, and more.
Clint Eastwood, Mike Myers, Taylor Lautner, Cameron Diaz, Jerry Lewis, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Selena Gomez, Tippi Hedren, James Earl Jones, James Woods, Jim Nabors, Martha Raye, Rosalind Russell, June Lockhart, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Howie Mandel, Meg Ryan, Cheri Oteri, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, James Drury, Melanie Griffith, Nathan Lane, Alan Thicke, Lou Diamond Phillips, Clint Howard, Tony Sirico, Cesar Romero, Michael Berryman, Tracy Scoggins, William Windom, Warren Stevens and more.
Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Wally Schirra, Dave Scott, Gene Cernan, Walt Cunningham, Scott Carpenter, Gene Kranz (NASA Flight Director), Ed Mitchell, Richard Gordon, Bruce McCandless, Vanentina Treshkova (first woman in space, Russia), Alex Leonov (first man to walk in space, Russian), Al Worden, Dee O’Hara (nurse to astronauts) and more.
Sports: Joe Torre, Roger Staubach, Bob Hayes, Billie Jean King, Manuela Maleeva, Drew Pearson, Bob Lilly, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, George Gervin, Tony Parker, Shannon Miller, Cathy Rigby, Bruce Bowen, Wade Boggs, Fernando Valenzuela, Bernie Kosar, Dale Murphy, Jim Abbott, Dick Bartell, Mike Schmidt, Dan Pastorini and more.
May Pang, Bob Eubanks, Vernon Presley, Vester Presley, Charlie Hodge, Joe Esposito, Rick Stanley (Elvis’ step-brother, Harold Lloyd (Elvis’ first cousin), Doyle Brunson, Kara Peller, Hank Meijer, Norman Brinkler, Stanley Marcus, Jerry King, Mac King, Nathan Burton, Zach Anner, Louie Anderson, Owen Benjamin, Steve Byrne and more.
As head of Facilities for a major retailer (H-E-B Food/Drugs) for 20 years, Jack co-founded Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association (PRSM) and was elected President to establish PRSM magazine. Jack is a writer, speaker, golf-concierge and happiness coach. He has researched and studied happiness for over 40 years.
Jack was a prolific writer for Examiner.com, with over 1,900 articles written in six years. His articles and stories have appeared in AXS Entertainment, The ROWDY Country Music, Memphis Flash, and numerous magazines.
He is author of “Miracles of Justice,” a true courtroom drama novel about social injustice and miracles.