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Best Buddies Motivate Each Other

Best Friends Support Builds Inner Strength for Both

By Greg Smith

Murv

My best friend is Murv Seymour. Murv and I go way back to our glorious Tampa days when I was doing great as a columnist and editor for Accesslife.com, a website devoted to people with disabilities. When we first met, Murv was a television news reporter in Tampa. We were two black young men, both at the top of our game on the Tampa professional and social scene.

Murv’s dream was to become a standup comedian. In 2001, he made the dramatic decision to retire as a reporter and spend his energy full-time in the pursuit of his comedy career. Around that same time, Accesslife.com, one of thousands of venture capitalist funded websites during the dot-com boom, went out of business. This forced me out of the Tampa luxury life and into my parents new home in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

Ever since then, life is been a struggle for both of us. We’ve had many victories but we have suffered many defeats over the past decade plus. Murv is a talented comedian. He is done just about everything you can do in comedy except get his big break. The guy is a comedic genius.  He is also a talented writer, and an excellent storyteller.  He is very skilled in the art of video production.  For many years, he has been working on a documentary film about the legendary Hammond B3 organ.  Between working on the comedy and working on the documentary, Murv has had his challenges over the years.

You know about my struggles. I have had a tough time dealing with congestive heart failure, gradually losing abilities due to muscular dystrophy and aging, and rebuilding my life after Hurricane Katrina. It has been a tough road. There were times when we were both so down that encouragement was impossible. Sometimes our phone conversations were reports of mutual misery.  This negativity put a strain on our relationship and for a long time, we stopped talking.

“The Reset”

I think we needed to “reset.”  We set out on our own paths for several months.  Of course, our strong bond made us reconnect and this time, we really started to encourage each other. If one of us needed to hear something, the other would not hold back and make him face the truth.  There was a very successful mixture of “tough love” and encouragement in our conversations. Since the “reset,” things are really looking up for both of us!  So far in 2013, I have resurrected my speaking career, and I am making steadfast progress on the publication of a new book.  And for Murv, finally, the completion of the documentary, “Killer B3!”

photo-1

Greg Smith proudly sporting his new “Killer B3″ T-shirt, promoting the successful completion of Murv Seymour’s documentary film.

A successful “Kickstarter” campaign gave him and his partner, Joe Bamford, the funds to complete the film. Yesterday I received my Kickstarter package which included a DVD of the film and this T-shirt that I am wearing with pride! The documentary is a masterpiece. You can check out clips on his website at www.killerB3.com.

I urge you to think about your best friend and offer that person steadfast encouragement. They will do it in return and you will probably realize that both of you will start to succeed.  Inner strength is contagious and rubs off immediately on those close to us.

 

 

Check out the trailer

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5 thoughts on “Best Buddies Motivate Each Other

  1. Great trailer! Tell Murv his Memphis cousin says hello and congratulations! It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you have the love and support of the people around you. You are able to move mountains and move to higher ground. Keep up the good work!

    • Memphis Cuz!
      I’ve heard all about you and seen some of your work. Looking forward to meeting you. Thanks for following my blog.
      - Greg

  2. Greg, I enjoyed reading this piece. I do believe that at some point we all have a time (or 2) we all must reset. I think the reset button allows us to think different and move forward. I’m curious does Murv have a disAbility?

    • Hey Lisa!

      Thanks for your comment. No, Murv does not have a disability. What’s cool about that is he has learned a great deal about the disability experience from me. And I have learned a lot about nondisabled people’s perception of disability from him.

      Do you have a disability? Does your best friend?