FIVE-TIME GRAMMY NOMINEE AND NASHVILLE RECORDING ARTIST LYNNMARIE RECEIVES INDUCTION INTO THE POLKA HALL OF FAME.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (September 20, 2018) — Nashville recording artist LynnMarie has received the Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame, the organizations’ highest honor. The announcement was made tonight at the Annual Thanksgiving Preview Party in Cleveland, Ohio. LynnMarie is the fourth female in history to receive this honor.
On hearing the news, LynnMarie said, “I am so grateful and excited! Thank you to members of the Hall of Fame for recognizing my talents and to the fans all over the world who are a part of the polka community. Polka music runs deep in my blood and I have enjoyed every minute and every note!”
LynnMarie was born and raised in the Slovenian community of Maple Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. Wanting to follow in her father’s footsteps as an entertainer, she started playing the diatonic button accordion at the age of eleven. She has released thirteen recordings and performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. In 2011 she wrote and starred in a one-woman play off-Broadway and in Los Angeles, and in 2016 she released her memoir Wrap Your Heart Around It. She has collaborated and recorded with such musical greats as Dobie Gray, Ray Benson, Riders in the Sky and Vince Gill. LynnMarie is the first and only female in history to be recognized by The Grammys (NARAS) five times for “Best Polka Album”.
LynnMarie tours across the country and in Europe with her band LynnMarie & The Nashville Polka Guys and as the duo LynnMarie & E3, with her fiancé Eddie Rodick. She also shares her inspiring story of acceptance – as a motivational entertainer, public speaker and blogger – chronicling her life with her son James, who was born with special needs.
When she is not performing on stage in front of the cameras, LynnMarie is working behind the scenes as a television script supervisor, associate director and producer. Currently she is working for the nationally syndicated talk show, Pickler & Ben, produced by Grammy Award-winning superstar Faith Hill and co-founder of Happy Street Entertainment Lisa Erspamer.
The Polka Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place Saturday, November 24th, at the Marriot Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio, as part of the five-decade long Thanksgiving Polka weekend celebration.
I’m was sitting in line at the in emissions testing with the car turned off… because I was hoping and praying it would pass. I’m not sure if shutting off the car while I sit in 90° heat with no air conditioning will help at all, but I’m willing to sweat if there’s the slightest chance. I NEED this car to pass. I have a 2003 Honda Pilot with 285,000 on it. So, I sit. And I sweat. And I pray, “Please pass, please pass” over and over. After forty-five minutes in line, I was able to clean out the glove compartment and my purse.
I was hoping I’d find some slightly melted chocolate or a few old Twizzlers, but no luck.
All of a sudden, I hear a loud bang and hard push forward. “What the hell?” The woman in line behind me hit me. Augh.
I get out and I realize that her car, old and maroon (don’t ask me what make or year, I don’t care or know) but what I do see is part of her front end is being held together with duct tape.
I’m guessing this isn’t the first time she rear-ended someone.
She gets out. She’s shaking. She was an African-American woman probably in her sixties. As she wipes her tears, she just keeps saying over and over, “Oh, dear Jesus, oh dear Jesus, oh dear Jesus.” I notice that she prays short prayers too. I put my hand gently on her shoulder and I say, “It’s going to be OK. It looks like it’s just a small scratch and a crack” Her response to me was,
“Oh no it’s not, I know how things like this work. Small things usually lead to big things.”
I ask her if she has insurance. She does not. She continues to say, “Oh dear Jesus,” over and over. I ask her for her name and number. Her name is June. I tell her that I’m going to call my insurance company and I retreat back to my car. I know in my logical brain that the car is fine. It’s just a scratch and honestly, I ran into a concrete pole a few months back and I’m sure MOST of the scratches were from that. But I’m angry. And I’m sad.
About a lot of things lately, like my weight gain and the heat and not finding chocolate and a whole lot of things that are better left unspoken. And now, I can take them out on June!
I called Eddie. He wants to be angry about a lot of things as well right now, so we’re no help to each other. I call my brother Lenny, hoping he might let me be angry at June. My brother reminds me of how well this old Honda Pilot has served me and how many scrapes I put on it myself. He reminds me to breathe.
A few deep breaths later, and I decide to let it go. As the sweat drips down my nose and I move another car length closer to the testing, I decide to try to extend grace. Grace. Because grace is what I would want. Forgiveness over anger always wins.
I walk over to her car. She still crying. I grab her hand and say, “It’s OK, I’m not going to report it. Just be careful out there.” She cries even harder and looks at me and says,
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” The other short awesome prayer.
As I walk back to my car I feel a wave of relief. Relief! Relief that I don’t have to hold on to one more ounce of anger about anything. I didn’t want to be mad at her anyway. Misplaced anger benefits no one. I’m trusting that the words she said to me, that ‘small things can lead to big things someday’ will work in my favor in the future.
Back in my car it’s finally my turn. For a brief moment I think, “If I’ve waited in this car for ninety-minutes for nothing, in the freakin’ heat with no chocolate and I don’t pass this emissions test and June does, I’m going to be so pissed.”
They run the test.
I didn’t pass.
I had to use the plunger this morning. I know, not the thing someone would normally put on Facebook. Usually, posts are about beautiful beach vacations or fabulous dinners or selfies with friends. Most of us (i.e. me) like to use social media to present our wonderful gorgeous looking lives, where we are posed perfectly to look thin, and with a face filter to soften the widening wrinkles.
But this is not truth. Truth is plunging the toilet.
Truth is situations in life that make us (i.e. me) feel stuck, a mess, stinky, and needing a major push from God to get moving. (But knowing that truth is hard to swallow sometimes, I’m using a edited photo of Eddie and I on the beach for this post! Hehe)
People have asked me, “Why don’t you write anymore”, and my answer has been, “Because I write about my life
in the moment, and lately a lot of the moments (besides of course the presence of an amazing fiancé) have been pretty crappy. Plus, if I write about what I’m really going through, I run the risk of hurting people, and that’s the last thing I want to do.”
Anne Lamott says, “to be a really great writer you have to write as if the people in our lives are dead”. Maybe this is just one of the many reasons why she is a New York Times best-selling author and I am not.
So, my morning prayer to God when I first opened my eyes was that somehow, I would find the inspiration to write again. The next thing I know, I’m holding the damn plunger. Okay, I get it. Maybe I can write about my life, without people being dead?
So, thanks to a lot shit… I share my truth and hope it will inspire you somehow or at least make you chuckle.
Life is about both good and bad, love and pain, moving and stuck, calm and chaos. And living in that thin line where they meet, well, that is the sweet spot.
Barbara Brown Taylor, another really great successful writer, says, “People encounter God under shady oak trees, on riverbanks, at the tops of mountains, and in long stretches of barren wilderness.” And I will add…while holding a plunger.