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Confessions of a SHOT Show Newbie #2

They say never meet your heroes.

We’ve heard that before. The Rock star or actor you adore turns out to be

a turd… someone with the charm of rectal probe with nary a drop of

gratitude in their body. You get the once in a lifetime chance to meet the

artist whose music got you through a rough time, or the actor who brought

history alive on the screen. And they could give two hoots about their fans.

Dismissive of the dollars you’ve spent buying their music, tickets to

concerts or movies, and merchandize. (I’m speaking of regular people not

the mentally unbalanced stalkers.). It’s a letdown to say the least.

Disappointment doesn’t quite cover it.

(I should disclose first that I roomed with Deb Ferns…. So, I was in daily contact with


Strangely enough this paradigm doesn’t exist at SHOT Show. Shirley and I

had the privilege to meet several high-profile figures at SHOT Show. Each

time we were treated to their attention, good chats, and of course photos.

First we met Mike Ritland, retired Navy SEAL and owner of Trikos Dogs.

He was there with Dakota 283 Kennels to promote his new Trikos Crate.

And before you ask, no Rico was not there. We thanked Mike for his hard

hitting yet hilarious podcast, Mike Drop. As a listener, it was gratifying to

personally thank someone for creating relevant content that affects daily

life. If you aren’t familiar with Mike or the Mike Drop Podcast check it out.

Shirley and I next stopped by Lucid Optics to meet John “Tig” Tiegen. I

could go into his service, his experience in Benghazi, and subsequent

advocacy for veterans. But I won’t. Instead I’m going to tell you that a true

American hero, made an autograph out to my father-in-law. I’ll be giving

this to my Father in Law for Christmas. It’s only January. We had his full

attention during our discussion about She Never Quit in October, who we

are, and other sundry items of small talk. But that’s how cool meeting a

hero should be.

Max Martini is best known for his role playing Mark “Oz” Geist in 13 Hours:

The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. Shirley and I happened upon Max in the

main hallway. He was chatting with several people, posing for photos, and

handing out flyers. When it was our turn to meet a movie star (OMG!!), we

asked for a photo. Mr. Martini said we could have as many photos as we

liked, but first he wanted to tell us about his current project. Long story

short, Max Martini directed, produced, and acted in the 2019 film Sgt. Will

Gardner. He was at SHOT promoting the film by meeting directly with

potential audience members. Who does that? As Max stood chatting with

both us (as well as every other person who approached) he briefed us first

and foremost that 30% of the film’s proceeds are donated to veteran

charities including the Gary Sinise Foundation. He has my vote for hardest

working man at SHOT Show!

Dana Loesch. What can I possibly say about Dana Loesch? I was

introduced to her through a mutual friend outside of the Women of the Gun

reception. I really tried to be cool, collected, etc. I solemnly swear I did.

We three chatted about people she met so far at the show, about dogs, and

her forthcoming book. At some point in the small talk I went full on #fangirl.

I stammered out something I hope sounded like compliments, babbled a

few things about her fierce commitment to the 2 nd amendment, and then

awkwardly asked for a photo. I was such a pattering #fangirl I neglected to

introduce Shirley…. But speaking in a recognizable language at that point

was not happening. However, Dana Loesch maintained a lighthearted

equanimity and constant grace throughout the conversation. It really was a

dream come true.

There’s a refrain from a Foo Fighters song which says, “There goes my

hero/He’s ordinary” which expresses the sentiment of this post. These four

people in their own ordinary way have created extraordinarily meaningful

content which resonates and enriches their audience. In this context, most

definitely meet your heroes…. I’d like to take this opportunity to invite Jason

Momoa to next year’s WOMA coffee!

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