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A Nonfiction Story

By Babs IversonPublished 12 months ago β€’ 4 min read
Top Story - April 2023
Photo by Guido Knook on Unsplash

As you know, people come and go through our lives staying and departing at various lengths of time. While it might be minutes, an hour, a few days, several weeks, many months, and more years than you can remember, it's amazing how the right person shows up at the right time. Be it a helper, a questioner, a supporter, an encourager, an accidental teacher, a believer, and more, they open our eyes and influence our actions and reactions.

But, words stay with us forever. There are positive words and negative words. There are words I love. There are words that I don't like. When it comes to words, knowing the definition of a particular word, isn't the same thing as believing wholeheartedly in that word. Are you with me?

Case in point, an acquaintance or journalist would say that so and so had charisma. Leaving me wondering, what was so special about that person? Pulling out the dictionary, I would look up the word. (Yes, back then, we only had a dictionary.) For today's writing, I used the online definition.

Charisma is "A noun 1. compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others. 2. a divinely conferred power or talent."

Naturally, in the 60s, President John F. Kennedy was often described as having charisma. Of course, charisma was often used to characterize actors and politicians. Up until 1983, I never met anyone that stood out that I could describe as being charismatic.

In January of 1983, at the age of thirty-five. I had earned my real estate license months earlier. By March, I was back in Del Rio, Texas. On that beautiful March Saturday afternoon, I was holding down the fort so to speak. In other words, I was alone in the real estate office to field phone calls and answer walk-in home buyers' and sellers' questions. With my new real estate jacket which was pre-owned and purchased days before, looking sharp, I was dressed for success.

Amazingly, the phones were quiet. When a brand new white Cadillac drove up and parked in front of the office. On the front of the Cadillac were the largest Texas Longhorns that I had ever seen on a vehicle or beef cattle in my life. Furthermore, it should be noted that the front wall of the office was full of glass windows from floor to ceiling.

Shaking my head, I couldn't believe my eyes. Before I knew it, the tall Texan was standing in front of me and his over-six-foot frame was next to the reception desk.

Oh, how I wish you could have been there. It was unbelievable! From head to toe, white cowboy hat, white western wear, and custom-made boots, he looked like he just walked out of a Western Movie. Honestly!

Introducing himself as Wayne Connally, he asked for Shirley. Shirley Connally was a realtor in our office and I was clueless as to where she was. We exchanged a few words. Which to this day surprised me as I was aw-struck. As quickly as he came by, Wayne Connally was gone.

Then, it hit me like a lightning bolt. Wayne Connally had charisma. Interestingly, he wasn't an actor or a well-known politician. However, his brother was John Connally an ex-Govenor of Texas who was often described as a tall and charismatic Texan. According to a Dallas Morning article, describing John Connally, Jackie Kennedy said, "Too pretty to be handsome."

If you are intersted in reading about JFK and John Connally's connection, you can find the quote and a wealth of information here.

A few weeks later, the real estate office had a fundraiser for Easter Seals. Shirley Connally attended the event. Wayne Connally didn't accompany her. I never saw Wayne Connally again.

It's been forty years, but when people speak of charisma. Now, I know the meaning and believe that there are people who stand out from the crowd. It's a memory that will stay with me forever.

Writer's notes: CHARISMA is submitted to the Passing Ships Challenge.

"Write about a small moment in your life that had a big impact.

Throughout life, we experience fleeting moments, like two ships passing each other in the night. This phrase refers to a missed connection or opportunity, where two people or things pass each other without fully recognizing or engaging with each other. However, even in these seemingly small moments, there can be hidden significance and meaning.

Write about a seemingly small moment in your life that ended up having a big impact. Reflect on how it changed your perspective, values, or decisions. Explore how paying attention to small things can reveal profound truths about ourselves and the world, and change the course of one's life."

Thank you for reading! You are appreciated!


About the Creator

Babs Iverson

Barbara J Iversen, also known as Babs Iverson, lives in Texas and loves her grandkids to the moon and back. After writing one story, she found that writing has many benefits especially during a pandemic and a Texas-size Arctic Blast.

Reader insights

Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  3. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  3. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  4. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

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Comments (37)

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  • Caroline Jane12 months ago

    I wonder if charisma can be learned. Thought provoking story Babs. Congratulations!

  • Gerald Holmes12 months ago

    Great descriptions Babs. Congrats.

  • Cathy holmes12 months ago

    Congrats on the top story.

  • Call Me Les12 months ago

    What a guy! I love when you share memories with us Babs!

  • Derick Okwa12 months ago

    Nice work

  • Sonia Heidi Unruh12 months ago

    Congrats on top story, Babs! That description is so vivid.

  • Heather Hubler12 months ago

    I absolutely love reading about your life, Babs!! You have seen so much and do such a great job of bringing your experiences to life for readers. Congratulations on a well deserved Top Story!!

  • I can imagine how charismatic Wayne Connally was! I don't think I've ever met anyone whom I've thought had charisma. Congratulations on your Top Story!

  • JBaz12 months ago

    Congratulations Babs, I am so glad to see this i Top Story

  • Dana Stewart12 months ago

    Such a great Top story, Babs! I really enjoyed it!

  • Roy Stevens12 months ago

    Great description of the man Babs. The minute I saw the name 'Connally" in connection with Texas I thought of John. If Wayne was anything at all like his brother, I can easily see your point! Honestly though, career or not when that long-horned caddy pulled up in front I'd a been out the back door and halfway to Albuquerque before the engine stopped growling. Talk about hood ornament intimidation!

  • J. R. Lowe12 months ago

    Great story, Babs! I can picture the moment so well and I love the background and build up you’ve included here

  • Kristen Balyeat12 months ago

    I really enjoyed this story, Babs! Yes, Charisma is a category all its own- such an impactful trait- which you demonstrated so perfectly in this piece! Congrats on Top story! πŸ’«

  • Loryne Andawey12 months ago

    It's always a shock whenever you meet someone like that. You wonder who they are and why they struck you dumb. Well done and congratulations on your Top Story!

  • Tiffany Gordon 12 months ago

    Beautiful storytelling! Congrats on your TOP STORY Babs!

  • Brenton F12 months ago

    Well done , that was an interesting read.

  • Dana Crandell12 months ago

    A great read, Babs! Conally definitely had charisma! Interestingly, I personally know at least one person that uses his charisma to exert the wrong kind of influence. It's kind of a double-edged sword, no?

  • C. H. Richard12 months ago

    I love how you broke down this word by example. It really something you don't understand until you experience it. Well done! I'm going to look up John Connally now 😊 Congratulations on your top story!

  • Cendrine Marrouat12 months ago

    Yes, some people have this ability to leave us in awe without doing anything. Over time, I have come to the conclusion that it has to do with their spiritual energy. Congratulations on the Top story!

  • Melissa Ingoldsby12 months ago

    Congratulations on top story!!! Yay πŸ˜€

  • Congratulations on your Top Story, excellent work

  • Donna Renee12 months ago

    Congrats on your top story!! This was so interesting! ☺️

  • Great story. Congratulations on the top story

  • Gina C.12 months ago

    Congrats on Top Story!!! 😍😍😍

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