Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tom Sullivan


My Dad is a longtime friend of Tom Sullivan and I remember watching his movie "If you could see what I hear"  My Dad told me about him and how even though he was blind, he could still do most things that we can do.  And then about 20 years went by.........

So I am looking at the itinerary at the CareCredit National Sales Meeting and lo and behold I see the name "Tom Sullivan" on the keynote portion of the itinerary.  Awesome, how about that?  The speech began and Tom walked up with his guide dog "edison" and opened with one of his songs.  He then began his speech which interspersed his own story with specifically talking about our market and our company.  Anyways Tom was masterful..."Beyond Brillant" is how  the speaker the next day referred to his storytelling ability.  During the speech everyone was leaning forward, all eyes locked on him, and you could hear a pin drop.    Imagine being a kid in your front yard which your parents had walled in and hearing the sounds of boys playing baseball down the street and wanting to play.....Being bullied by one kid who sang out "Blindy Blind, Blind Freak" and all you could do is pick up rocks and hurl them at the sound of the his voice....and finally hearing the two most magic words from another boy down the street...."Wanna Play?"

He told us about how he met Helen Keller and what she said to him...how him and two other boys from the blind school escaped from their dorm and built a raft to float down the Charles river like Tom and Huck....how terrified he was when he was so distracted while he was talking to Johnny Carson on the phone that he didn't hear the sound of the splash of his little girl falling in the pool...and how all he could do was dive down sweep back and forth trying to find her...and how he eventually heard the sound of tiny air bubbles and was able to save her....(later he showed us a video of him being guided down the slopes by her now grown up)  

He told us that his dog is great but couldn't care less about his music...later as if on cue when he was finishing playing one of his songs on the piano....his dog stands up and takes a step....."You see guys, I told you, Edison is telling me 'enough with the music Tom!'"     

After the speech and for the next two days I heard people in snippets of conversation saying how incredible they thought he was........He is the best speaker I have ever heard in person.

3 comments:

Serenity NOW said...

How awesome and how great of your company to bring such a motivational speaker as Tom Sullivan. So glad he hit a home run with all. Love ya

Serenity NOW said...

Glad you had the experience and thanks for sharing it.

Wish I was there.

Mennis

Paula said...

How great that you got to hear him! I read his book...it was very popular when back when. His life is so amazing and so inspirational. I would have loved to hear him, too!
Love you, Mom