Saturday, February 20, 2021


It was 1995 and I was in Dallas Texas. I was staying at the Anatole hotel which had been built to accomodate the GOP Convention in the past. I was there to attend meetings on a new pharmaceutical agent called Lamictal, which our sales force was being introduced to. We were going to co-promote the product with Burroughs Wellcome to the U S medical population. Looking back over time, our sales division is now gone as well as BW having been sold to other big pharma players.

I had stepped out onto the plaza outside of a meeting room and I was taking a break and happened to look across the mezanine. There he was standing outside of a meeting room smoking on a gigantic stogie. I excused myself and made a beeline to him.

Extending my hand I introduced myself to him. I told him I was from Tallahassee, Florida and never missed a moment of his daily program. I even watched him om TV. He smiled and immediately engaged with me. He asked me how living in Tallahassee was. I told him how great it was and that I never wanted to live anywhere else. He then asked what brought me to Dallas. I told him. He asked for the name of the new legend drug and what it was to be used for. I shared that information with him as he pulled out a little notebook and a pen and wrote down the information. He then told me that he was about to be introduced to a group inside his meeting room, that it was nice to meet me and good luck on the product launch. He disppeared and I was so happy that I had gone across the way to shake hands with the legendary Rush Limbaugh. He  truly was one of the nicest people I had ever met. 

I had discovered him a couple of years prior while riding around in my company car trying to be places to peddle my wares to medical practioners. He was usually found on the AM dials but also frequented a few FM stations. He was the father of conservative talk radio. His delivery was entertaining and delightful. His ideas resonated with fellow conservatives. He was not afraid to say what was on his mind. I was immediately addicted to his pronouncements. He delivered his message in an unadulterated, unapologetic way. He was bold in doing so. I found his program unique and refreshing and creative. He was not afraid to step on your toes, to challenge your beliefs. His parodies and his style were straight out of central production. Excellence in Broadcasting. The EIB virus was about to inflict you. Talent on loan from God. Taking on the other side with half his brain tied behind his back. He was funny and serious.

I was home one day and had just watched his TV show. My wife Nancy had brought to light some chore I was to have accomplished and as usual had neglected it. I was bold enough to talk back to her. Our Emily, about 9 years old at the time said to her Mother, " He has been watching Rush. He is always obnoxious after he listens to Rush." 

I smiled to myself, taken aback by this child that I loved. Later on I became deflected by other pursuits and listend to him less and less. Occassionally I dropped in to visit him and see what he was talking about. 

I will always remember how kind and engaging he was to me that day in Dallas.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Memories of a Grand Lady


Today I post concerning a grand lady who passed away just this past Saturday at the age of 89. She is survived by 7 children: Chris, Robby, Nani, Kyle, Brett, Liz and Janice. She had 33 grandchildren and 56 great-grandchildren.

Her name is Emmanell Nani Viera Tucker. She was born in Hawaii.and attended college at Brigham Young University where she met Luther Christopher Tucker, Jr (Kit). They married and moved home to his native Wakulla county Florida. Kit passed away in February of 2019. 

Kit's father was a state senator from Wakulla, county serving in the state legislature into the early sixties. Nell's brother-in-law was Donald L. Tucker who was an elected representative of the Florida house of representatives for several terms. He served as speaker of the house for two consecutive terms. He was instrumental in building the Leon county civic center which was later changed to bear his name, the Donald L. Tucker civic center. Don passed in September of  2019.

The notoriety of Nell's family does not end there. Nell's grandson is Brendon Yuri, American singer and song writer and musician best known as the lead vocalist of the band Panic! at the Disco. 

All of Nell's children and grandchildren are precious to her. She was the matriarch of a group of people who are multitalented and proud and loyal to their family name.

Nell, in her lifetime, saw the bombs that fell on Pearl Harbor that marked the United States entry into WW 2. She was a young girl at the time rushing home to seek the shelter of her home there in Hawaii. She experienced life along the way leaving a legacy of service and love to others. She was a gifted vocalist, dancer, teacher. mother, wife, friend, grandmother and happy hearted person who rarely complained of her lot in life. 

She was a personal friend to my family and many others. We have shared many stories and laughs along the way and shall now miss her being nearby. Our commonality was the Church of Jesus Chirst of Latter day Saints. She was true and faithful to the covenants she made in her church all along the way and now into the eternities. 

Following are a couple of comments made by my daughters concerning Nell Tucker.

Emily Vass Raines comments as follows:

Music can be such an integral part to testimony building and I had the best primary music teacher ever in Sister Tucker! I remember singing “Saturday is the day we get ready for Sunday” and learning about preparing for the Sabbath Day. Sister Tucker had shoes for us to polish and clothes for us to iron and made learning about the gospel through music so much fun! When I was 16 I participated in the Stake youth choir and sister tucker was our leader. This is really when I remember my testimony growing so much as we sang “From Cumorah’s Hill.” Sister Tucker didn’t just teach us to sing the words, she taught us the meaning behind the words. I remember she also taught how sacred these words were and how blessed we were to have this knowledge and when we sing the words, think about them and share your testimony through song. She told us that we had angels with us helping us share this important message of the restoration. I always knew how much Sister Tucker loved me. She may have needed to give us a stern talk about what our purpose was and why we needed to straighten up during our performance, but we listened and we wanted to do our best because we loved Sister Tucker and we knew how much she loved us as well!


I was lucky to grow up in Eastgate here in Tallahassee just a few streets over from the Tuckers and loved to go over and hang out with Amber and Kristen and Heather and Shelly when they were visiting their grandparents. One day I was walking over to their house and a huge dog started barking and jumping on me. I was terrified of dogs and froze on the spot! Before I knew what was happening I saw Sister Tucker running toward me yelling at the dog and shooing him away and wrapping her arm around me to make sure I was ok. I immediately felt safe, that dog couldn’t get through Sister Tucker!  I loved playing at their house and watching Shirley Temple and Esther Williams movies. I just remember feeling like part of the family and feeling loved by Sister Tucker. She and her family were such a big part of my childhood and growing up years.  I will miss her so much!

                                                              Beth Vass Sundstrom comments as follows:

I have so many fond memories of Sister Tucker - as a church music director for our children’s organization, as a leader for our youth organization, and as the grandmother of my friends.  One trait is consistent with all of these roles that she played: love.  Sister Tucker always made me feel loved.  She would go out of her way to speak with me or give me a hug.  She always had good advise to give and funny anecdotes to tell.  She had a wonderful way of making you feel important.  What a blessing she has been to my life and such an example of the love that Christ represents.

I conclude with my personal comments regarding Nell. She was a hard working, faithful latter day saint. She was immensely proud of her faith, her nation and her family. The world is a little bit less in its existence because of her passing. However, heaven has gained a super star. She will wait and watch there in heaven by the door as her posterity come, one by one to join her. She will embrace and rejoice with each one of them. She will pray for them from her vantage point in the palace of eternity. She will hope and try to influence each one to reach a little higher and to try and remember the meaing of OHANA.