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Figure of speech

We are fortunate, aren't we? We all have a roof over our heads, a warm bed to sleep in, food in the fridge and cupboards, clean clothes on our back, water to drink and wash in everyday and a family doctor just a phone call away. And those are just considered our 'necessities'.

Anyone who deals with the public on a day-to-day basis can understand when I say you sometimes meet interesting characters.

However, little did I know that I would meet an 87-year-old woman who would inspire anyone to embrace life and 'take the bull by the horns'; so to speak.

Recently I had the honour and the privilege to interview and take a walk with Madeleine Sherwood, a Broadway star and a woman of history, in Campbellton during her first visit to Newfoundland.

Not only was it great to hear how impressed she was with the island and it's people, as I am a proud Newfoundlander, but it was amazing the wealth of experiences she has had in her 87 years.

It was truly inspiring to be in the presence of someone who worked closely with Martin Luther King Jr. in the late 50's and 60's and was arrested during a Freedom Walk for the Civil Rights Movement. Ms. Sherwood was sentenced to six months hard labour for 'endangering the customs and mores of the people of Alabama,' but that didn't stop her from hiring an African-American lawyer to represent her. It was because of her case that Fred Grey became the first African-American lawyer to represent a white woman south of the Mason Dixon line - a fact Ms. Sherwood is still proud of today.

Ms. Sherwood made history once again in the 1980's when she received a grant from the American Film Institute to be one of the first women to direct a number of short films. She truly is a living inspiration and someone you would never forget conversing with.

I have met a variety of people throughout my career and I could write a column on each one - to how they inspire someone to do something for the benefit of mankind, to how someone braved the elements to break a world record or to conquer their own Mount Everest. I have shared in a person's shinning moment and in their pain.

Either way, I am truly blessed to have met each one and to have the opportunity to tell their story. After all, everyone has a story to tell.
I am a part of all that I have met. - Alfred Tennyson

See the Oct. 14 edition of The Pilot for the story of Ms. Sherwood's Newfoundland experience.

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