Friday, January 25, 2013

Eugene Pottinger ~ A Disappointment.....

January 25, 2013 ~ Well I guess I knew this would happen but I didn't want to believe it. I was told that Eugene (the homeless guy I helped get home last year) was back at the Midway exit. I jumped in my car and headed down to see for myself and sure enough there he was. He saw my car coming and by the look on his face he was prepared. I went down to the exit and turned around and as I got closer I really couldn't believe that he would actually come back to our exit. I rolled down my window and told him what a disappointment it was to see him back. I wasted my time and money on someone that wasn't worth it because he felt the need to lie to me. (something I don't take to kindly) I suggested to him that he find another exit to go to because he wouldn't get a thing from anyone here. He had used the wrong person and I would tell everyone I knew. He could sense in my voice that I wasn't playing around and I would run him out of my town! (I don't like to be hateful or mean but you may have got over on me once but I can assure you that you won't get over on me again) I promise you... I will do everything in my power to remove him from our exit and our town as he doesn't belong here. In my town you don't use people and you don't scam us... if you do we will bond together to make sure you aren't welcome.

I don't know his situation (he has apparently lied to me in telling me he was a Navy Seal as a true Navy Seal contacted me and said there is no record of him at all. See below information)  as I won't give him any more of my valuable time. I am not sorry that I did what I did last year to get him home as I did it from my heart with the greatest intentions however I am sorry that I wasted my money to help someone that could look me in the eyes and bold face lie to me. Shame on you Eugene (if that in fact is your true name) for what you have done but coming back to my town for another round... you have balls.

E-mail from a true Navy Seal.....
It's funny how people can be so easily duped, Michele. Not only did Eugene deceive you, but you managed to tarnish the "Hard Earned" reputations of all Navy SEALs by writing about this BUM...I hope you can see you way clear to deleting that blog...

  • Madam,
    I greatly appreciate your interest in upholding the honor of the US Navy SEAL Teams, and your search for the TRUTH. Before answering your questions I must make clear that I am a private individual, not affiliated with the US Dept. of Defense or any other government organization. My efforts to expose SEAL imposters are performed as a service to the public, and in honor of my fallen SEAL Teammates… men who truly earned the right to the title “US NAVY SEAL” but who are no longer able to stand forward in defense of their honor, their reputations, and their TEAMs.

    If the name you provided is spelled correctly, I do NOT find a listing in the SEAL Database (SEAL Teams and predecessor units from 1943 to the Present Day) for anyone named EUGENE POTTINGER. I have also examined possible alternate spellings, and names with similar pronunciations without finding any that appear to be applicable.

    Unless he has undertaken the unlikely action of a legal name change (an action for which there would be evidence in the form of court documentation) since his claimed participation in SEAL training, and based upon the information you have provided, I can state conclusively that EUGENE POTTINGER has NEVER COMPLETED SEAL training, and he is not now, nor was he ever a Navy SEAL, a Navy UDT “Frogman”, a member of any Naval Combat Demolition Unit (NCDU), or a member of the Naval Amphibious Scouts & Raiders (S&R).

    Many SEAL imposters when confronted with the information I have provided will resort to claiming that their records are sealed, burned or their SEAL Operations were Classified and that there are no official records of them.
    Before any classified operations may be undertaken as a SEAL Operator, a man must first successfully complete the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) Training program and then the follow-on secondary training program. The names of all those who successfully graduate from that training program sequence are compiled in the SEAL database. Later participation in classified operations has "no impact" on whether or not a person is listed as a graduate of the training program.

    There are records of every man who has qualified for the title of “SEAL”; there have been and will continue to be secret missions, but there are NO secret SEALs.

    For additional US NAVY confirmation of my findings regarding Mr. EUGENE POTTINGER's lack of SEAL credentials you may contact the Public Affairs Office at the NAVAL SPECIAL WARFARE COMMAND in Coronado, California by telephoning (619) 537-1133. You may also contact the UDT-SEAL Association via email at, or by telephone at (757) 318-3764; while they are not formal/official representatives of the US Navy, they have been granted access to the SEAL Database in order to verify credentials of potential members. You may also consider contacting the Naval Special Warfare Archives by email at; that organization is responsible for creating the original SEAL Database and their extensive collection of documentation exceeds even that held by the US Navy.

    Thank you again for your concern in this matter, and for your assistance in upholding the honor of the US Navy SEAL Teams. If I can be of any further assistance to you in this matter, please contact me at your convenience.

    Respectfully, Don Shipley BUD/S 131, SEAL Team ONE, SEAL Team TWO.

Junior Achievement 2013

January 25, 2013 ~ Today I finished my 3rd year of teaching Junior Achievement to the most adorable 2nd graders at Midway Heights Elementary School! Our 2nd grade theme is "Our Community" and they are taught things like what a community is, what a business is, what products and production are, about the government including government workers, voting and how money moves through a community. As a Partner in Education I wanted to be involved in this program because it was a great way to interact with the students while taking time to teach them. It always makes me smile to walk in and the students smile and say "Hello Mrs. Spry!" (Not gonna lie... it does make me feel old to have someone call you Mrs. Spry but I know it's out of respect) I truly had a great time and I think the kids did too!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Stan Musial - A Baseball Legend

January 19, 2013 ~ Today the world lost a great icon....Stan Musial was a true class act and legend. His entire career would focus around our St. Louis Cardinals. He would begin his career as a Cardinal on his debut on September 17, 1941 at the age of 20 and end his career as a Cardinal on September 29, 1963 at the age of 42. "Stan the Man" as he was often called, loved the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Cardinals loved him.  This quote proves his love "I love to play this game of baseball - I love putting on this uniform" (Sports Magazine All-Time All Stars - Tom Murry 1963) Stan Musial was also the first player in Cardinals history to have his number retired.

As a fan I respected him. He always made time for his fans and as I began to collect St. Louis Cardinals memorabilia I knew Stan Musial was going to be some of the first autographs I got! One of my first items I purchased was a stone in the Stan Musial Plaza at Busch Stadium. The picture above is of me sitting next to our stone once construction was done. Our stone is in the "baseball stitch" right next to Stan Musial's family and I am sitting on Mr. & Mrs. Musial's stone surrounded by family. I cherish my many bats, gloves, balls, pictures and figurines of Stan Musial and know he is reunited with his wife. We will certainly miss him but he will never be forgotten.

Stanley Frank Musial
November 21, 1920 - January 19, 2013
# 6

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

JP Perry ~ A Great Man

 J.P. Perry
November 29, 1941 - January 11, 2013

January 15, 2013 ~  I met JP Perry back in March 1999 when I began employment for Perry Towing which was the company he owned. It was a full service gas station with a towing company and I was hired to field the tow calls and help with the books. We took his manual operation of bookkeeping and made it easier by using QuickBooks to do the monthly billing which is what I use today in our business. JP was a wonderful, kind, sincere man who would always smile. He taught me so many things about life and running a business. He was a proud husband, father and grandpa and you would hear him often talk about his family that meant so much to him. His eyes would light up when his kids or grand-kids would stop by. He was proud of each of his kids and loved them all so much. He was proud of his son Doug as he worked in the family business and would soon take over ownership. He might have put a little pressure on Doug from time to time but he was molding him into a great businessman that he is today.

I had the pleasure of becoming great friends with JP and while working for him for 3 years I feel that I have known him for a lifetime.  I can't help but share with you some of the best memories that I will always remember.....

JP was the first person that called me "Sug". It was a name that everyone got called and something I call a lot of you. When I say "Sugar" or "Sug" to some of my greatest friends I can't help but remember JP saying that. Of course if you go up to the station today it's something Doug and Annie will often say which makes me smile. Such a simple thing yet means so much to me.

JP often brought his grandson, Brian with him to help him tow cars when he wasn't in school. Brian was in heaven riding around in the tow trucks with his grandpa and he loved the Dukes of Hazard. Well one day he decided to give me a name.... as the dispatcher my new name was "Lula". JP would be known as "Boss Hog" and Brian would be known as "Bo Duke". I still laugh when I think about "Bo Duke" calling "Lula" on the radio ready for a tow call!

Somehow there was a kid named Toby that came to work up at the station to get school credits. (I really can't remember how he became employed but it was only for a portion of the day) He would help out with the full service gas station and pump gas. One day it was crazy busy at the station. Cars were waiting to get into the lot to get fuel and Toby was getting hungry so he took it upon himself to walk over to Nowell's Grocery Store next door to get something to eat. He didn't tell anyone where he was going and JP had named him "Thunderbolt". He would come in the station and say "Where in the world is Thunderbolt at we need him on the pumps". It was busy inside the station with tow calls coming in so I didn't have a clue. Before too long Toby came walking back up the hill with his lunch. He walked inside and sat down in one of the chairs and started eating his spaghetti. (Bless his heart... he had that stuff all over his face). When JP walked through the door he looked at Toby and said "Now Thunderbolt, you just set right there and eat your lunch and don't let anyone bother you" in a very sarcastic way. Well sure enough Doug walked in and said "Toby get out there and help us can't you see we're slammed" so Toby said "Well JP said I could sit right here and no one would bother me" I quickly looked at him and said "Toby if I were you I would sit my lunch down and go help them". When the huge rush was over JP talked to him to let him know that when it's busy we will eat after the rush is over. He was really nice and explained what he meant but boy JP and I sure laughed about that day and from time to time JP would ask if I had seen ol' Thunderbolt! 

JP would never say "goodbye" when he was done talking to you on the phone. You would have a conversation and when he was done you just heard "click". That drove me crazy but it was just JP. He wasn't mad or wasn't trying to upset you it's just what he did. So finally one day I got the courage to call him back up. I said "JP why don't you ever say goodbye when you hang up the phone?" He paused for a moment and said "Well Sug, maybe I wasn't done talking to you now what do you think about that?" I had to laugh and thought well you were done talking to me at that exact time but we would probably talk 2 or 3 more times before the day was up. So next phone call I quickly said "Bye JP" and I think he was in shock because I heard a long pause (as if he was just going to hang up the phone) and a quick "Bye" then "click". From just about that time until the last time I talked to him in September 2012 he would say "Bye" or "Bye Sug".

JP would call me randomly from time to time just to check on me and see how things were going. You could always here the smile in his voice and although we wouldn't talk for longer than 2 or 3 minutes it was always great to hear his voice.  He would call me yearly to get me to buy a golf hole sponsor for the Grotto Golf Tournament and anything free like 100 pens and 100 notepads! Of course because it was JP I would always do it.

 Back in early September I was asked if Boone Electric could do a story on Brandon and I as they wanted to feature co-op members in the Rural Missouri. They came out to the office and talked to us and this is what I had to say.....

So once this article was ready to be released for print I talked to JP (I think I called him) to tell him thank you for being such a mentor in life for me. My voice started to crack as I held back the tears as I told him that he was someone that I looked up to and I appreciated him. He could sense that I was starting to cry so thankfully he said "I'm proud of you Sug for all you have done and keep up the great job." then we hung up the phone. This would be the last time I talked to JP. (This story never published in the Rural Missouri and we rather focused on the children's book I wrote and a wonderful article was published in December 2012)

As you can see we had a lot of great times together and he was someone that I respected a lot. He was a mentor, friend and a great man. I am so proud to have met JP and his family. They mean the world to him and that meant a lot to me. (His wife, Becky, helped take care of my Grandma Crews when she was on hospice and she was my world) As they laid his body to rest his memory will live on. He has impacted so many lives throughout his 71 years on this earth that he won't be forgotten. It won't be the same without you JP but one day we'll all meet again.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Jaxon and his Papa

January 7, 2013 ~ My adorable (yet almost grown) little nephew, Jaxon loves coming out to Granny and Papa Crews' house. I think he likes it because he's spoiled. Seriously he gets everything he wants.... He wasn't feeling good tonight but my sister, Ashley made dinner and brought it out to mom and dads on her day off! (She's a really good cook) So Jaxon played with Granny and Papa for a little while. They played at the shop with his little John Deere Gator and watched Papa work on his truck. Ashley had fixed Jaxon's plate and when dad came into the room he pointed for dad to sit at his table.... so like a good Papa my dad sat down with him. It was so sweet! They didn't stay at the table long before we all sat down at the big table with Jaxon between Granny and Papa.... I think he was in heaven! Don't tell anyone but I think that little guy has us all wrapped around his little finger!

Buddies for ever!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Mizzou Ambassadors ~ The Official Roll Out!

January 5, 2013 ~ Back in October 2012 I was approached by the University of Missouri Athletics Department about helping them launch/design an Ambassador program for Mizzou Athletics.

(Last year I was helping to design an Ambassador group for Tiger Town but when the plans were halted the Ambassador program was dropped. I had wished the University of Missouri would find a value in something like this but never pursued it because I had no ties to the University other than being a fan of our Missouri Tigers)

I was shocked but so happy to receive that call. With Missouri Tigers being in the SEC this was just another way to ensure we were a welcoming community to guests coming to our town. I would spear-head this program along with Krissy Ellis from the University of Missouri. We began working weekly on a presentation to present to Doug Gillian and Mike Alden. After some minor adjustments it was approved! (They were as excited about this program starting up as we were and both Krissy and I have committed to 3 years at minimum to make sure this program is successful and remains consistent during it's growth) I haven't been able to talk about this program until it began and today at the Men's Basketball game against Bucknell was our "roll out" of the Mizzou Ambassadors!

So how are the Mizzou Ambassadors different then the Chamber Ambassadors?

The Mizzou Ambassadors are completely different from the Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors because the Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors support small businesses in and around our community. We hold ribbon cuttings to celebrate things like ground breaking's, grand openings, anniversaries, additions to businesses or pretty much anything that small business owners want to promote their business for.  We also support not-for-profit businesses and our City of Columbia, including Chamber and non-Chamber businesses. We are considered "The Goodwill Arm of the Chamber" and often the face of our Chamber.

The Mizzou Ambassadors are simply "greeters". We will be present at any home game for all 18 sports that the University of Missouri has to offer. We are an addition to the ushers and other staff currently working any home game to welcome fans and guests to our stadiums, arenas and fields. We are considered "The Welcoming Arm of Mizzou". We are present to engage with others to make sure their game experience is the best it can be. We want to be friendly, happy and ready to cheer on our Missouri Tigers!

While these two Ambassador programs are similar yet slightly different they have two commonalities.... dedicated volunteers and supporting the organization they stand for. An organization or program is only has strong as it's supporters / volunteers and we appreciate the time given to make this program successful.

I am proud to be both a Chamber Ambassador and a Mizzou Ambassador. I feel that I can be involved in both organizations and support our Chamber of  Commerce and our small business community while giving back and supporting our Missouri Tigers. I am honored to have been asked to be apart of the University of Missouri Athletics Department (100% volunteer only) and hope to build lasting relationships with the staff, coaches, players and fans.

How do I become a Mizzou Ambassador?

We are going to grow our Mizzou Ambassadors slowly over this next year. We do have a process as well as a selection committee that gives the final approval (so there are no guarantee that you will be accepted). It is based on your time commitment, community involvement, etc. We want this to be a very diverse group of individuals giving everyone a fair chance to be involved and active. We also want to make sure that not everyone is from the same groups/organizations making sure that we have a nice cross section of our community/fans so that we all have an opportunity to meet new people and work with various sectors of our community.  If you are interested please e-mail me as I will submit your name and additional information for review.

What an amazing day it was! It was so much fun watching the crowds and interacting with some of the guests/fans! It was so exciting getting to work (100% volunteer) with some pretty amazing people today. We are off to a great start and look forward to supporting our Missouri Tigers by greeting guests and fans making sure they know that Columbia, MO is a welcoming community! So next time you are at a Missouri Tigers game just look for the Mizzou Ambassadors... betcha they have a friendly smile!


Co-Chairs of Mizzou Ambassadors
Michele Spry and Krissy Ellis

Friday, January 4, 2013

Tom T's Hat Rack ~ Published!

 January 3, 2013 ~ It's official.... "Tom T's Hat Rack" has been published and I am a real author! (Who would have ever dreamed) As of yesterday I approved the final piece to the puzzle which was approving the e-readers content. You just don't know how happy I am to have finally completed this project! Such an exciting day for me both personally and professionally!

Personally I have wanted to write and publish a children's book of some sort but I just didn't know what I would write about. In 2012 I had a great opportunity to write about someone special to me and how I try to live my life by "Paying It Forward". You don't know how good it felt to get the final copy, a true copy of my book in the mail on December 31, 2012. (I was lucky to have great parents that instilled values in me... Thanks Mom and Dad!)

Professionally I have spread my wings and yet added one more thing to my accomplishments. Funny how about 7-8 years ago I was told by a boss that (basically in a nutshell) I needed to have more than a high school diploma to be successful. Um, not something you tell Michele Spry! I have worked really hard to get to where I am today and I will continue to work hard while doing so from the heart. I have such passion and drive for so many things in this world that I am not going to let one person hold me back! I love the idea that I will have a whole new network of people to interact with and introduce my friends to! 

As of this morning when I looked on Barnes & Noble's website and typed in "Tom T's Hat Rack" I found it was available for Nook!

Then I looked on Amazon's website and typed in "Tom T's Hat Rack" and found it was available for Kindle!

I am patiently waiting for the actual book (hardback and paperback) to be posted to both of these websites as well as Google's iBooks! I am working on getting the physical books in stores but there is a process to get this done. Once I get books in my hand I can send the appropriate information to them and hopefully have an answer within 6-8 weeks!

It's a very exciting journey and I am glad you are right there beside me! I am a happy girl!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Don's Family Style Restaurant ~ New Expansion!

January 1, 2013 ~ We had the day off for New Year's so we decided to go visit our friends, Josh and Roni, in Huntsville, MO. (They own Don's Family Style Restaurant) You know it's always good to spend time with friends. I love watching them do things they really enjoy and being successful at. Josh and Roni have worked really hard and have a very successful business. They pride themselves on hard work and dedication. Josh is always at the restaurant....which is a great thing because he's involved in his business and daily operations. Roni works for a dental office in Moberly and comes up in the evenings and weekends. Their restaurant is always clean and the food is fresh and the prices are more than reasonable.

Josh and Roni opened their restaurant on November 25, 2008 and in July 2012 they needed to expand seating to accommodate their customers. They began the work and added an additional 1,000 square foot room on the building. (If you look at the above picture... where the "Don's Family Style" sign is located the whole left side is the new part). 

 The new banquet room!
They have had requests to have a private area so that they could have room for meetings, birthdays, or anything else a large party may need. This new space has doors to make it a little more private and seats about 70 people!

In their new addition they carried on with the country decor...You feel welcome when you walk in the door and it looks great! 

So next time you want a good place to eat then I recommend you taking a little drive to Huntsville, MO (just outside Moberly) to Don's Family Style Restaurant for some good down home country fixin's! You won't be disappointed! 

(From Columbia take Hwy 63 North to the Hwy 24 (Moberly exit) go West to Hwy JJ take a Right turn and they are 4 miles on the Right)

 Find a parking and head on in...
As you enter the front door....
Take a little walk past the buffet....
Find yourself a seat....
Then fix yourself a salad...
and get some of that famous Don's Fried Chicken and the fixin's....
(or order from the full menu)
When you get done head over to get some dessert from the ice-cream machine and choose from several homemade sweets! 
and as you are leaving make sure to tell them that Michele Spry sent ya! 


Don's Family Style Restaurant
 315 Hwy JJ
Huntsville, MO 65259

Happy New Year!

Front Cover
 Here's the finished product: Tom T's Hat Rack

January 1, 2013~ Happy New Year! I saw a great quote for today.... "Today is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a PERFECT one!" which I thought was fitting! In 2012 I ended the year with my physical proof book in hand and I began 2013 with approving my book taking it to publishing and printing! So crazy to think... I am a published author... Who would have ever thought I would have added author to my list of things I've done! WOW! I am very proud of this accomplishment!

 Back cover
104 page chapter book
suggested age range is 8-12 year olds

{insert happy dance here!}