On Friday, October 13th 2017, Leta Hopwood passed away, two months to the day after her 92nd birthday.
Hopwood was her maiden name. She was my mother.
She taught me to read when I was three years old. (By the time I entered 1st grade, I was reading at 7th grade level.)
She taught me to sing harmony when I was nine, as we drove from Shreveport, Louisiana to Colorado Springs after my dad was drafted into the Army. (I later sang in a very popular band, and have sung on dozens of jingles that you might have heard.)
She worked as a legal secretary when I was young, probably only making $400-$500 per month during that era, but still managed to save back $10 a week for me to take guitar lessons. (I’ve played guitar on quite a few records, and dozens of jingles.)
And she taught me about Jesus, and how even if you’re perfect, there will be someone who doesn’t particularly like you or agree with your opinions. And she taught me how to get over being hurt by that, and to forgive them, regardless of how they felt.
But most importantly, she taught me that your personal feelings are more powerful than your opinions, and that no matter what you think, your feelings are almost always evident – and they should be.
When you go on the air today, if all you do is quote somebody else’s thoughts, read liners, or be “nice” and “easy to listen to”, you’re not living up to what Leta would think was your full potential.
But more importantly, you’re not really giving of yourself, and you’re not really making any personal impact on the listener.
Leta had an impact on everyone she ever met. And if you ever work with me, her teachings will impact your life, too.
And I believe she’d be pleased with that as part of her legacy.
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Member, Texas Radio Hall of Fame
© 2017 by Tommy Kramer. All rights reserved.