Baton.

I like humor. I like funny people. I enjoy people that laugh and I enjoy making people laugh. I’m kind of good at it, but there’s a whole bunch of people funnier than me.

Growing up, I was a fan of humorist and newspaper columnist Erma Bombeck. I was a teenage young lad living in the Central New York countryside, but there I was laughing at “If Life Is A Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing In The Pits”? I giggled at Erma’s spin on life as a modern housewife and mother. Her take on life was funny, and more importantly, charming and I enjoyed her.

Fast forward twenty years to the 21st century and I discovered humorist and speaker Jeanne Robertson of Graham, North Carolina. I first heard a clip of one of her “speeches”, as she called them, on Sirius/XM radio. It was the channel next to Rawdog. She had a southern twang that was charming, she could tell a story like the best of them, and most importantly, the point of her speeches was to show people how to find the humor in any situation. Life gets better than way. Life is more manageable that way.

I’ve listened to Jeanne’s stories for the past 15 years.Back when they started featuring her on Sirius/XM the headlines read, “Grandma Goes Viral”. She’s a delight. Today I learned she passed (shaking my head in a gesture of respect) this weekend. She was 77 years old.

When work gets crazy, I have a small Post-It note near my computer or up by my webcam that simply says “Baton”. It’s a reminder to keep things light and to find the humor, even in the most stressful situations. It’s what Jeanne spoke about and keeping this in the back of my mind has helped me get through the workday on more than one occasion.

I’ll miss new stories from Jeanne. She had such a delightful way of conveying something to an audience. May she rest in peace.

For your enjoyment, here’s a clip from YouTube. It’s her Baton story.

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