The Master Storyteller

by Carey D. Martin

I met Mike Danna 25 years ago.  I was a 21 year-old college student, and he was a 30 year-old sharp dressed man with a smile and personality that made me feel like I had known him since childhood.  I can still remember that first handshake like it was yesterday.  I even remember the exact spot where I was standing.  It was a handshake that changed my life.

After Mike’s passing in March, I wrote a tribute to him entitled “The Master Storyteller.”  Everyone who read it agreed that Mike could tell a story like no other, whether it was in print, on video or at the dinner table. 

Mike loved to travel the globe and tell everyone about his experiences.  He took pictures, he shot video and he filled his blog, “Outtakes and Observations,” with word pictures that made you feel like you were traveling alongside him. 

Dr. Bobby Soileau and I talked a few weeks ago about a way that we could honor Mike’s memory during the upcoming trip to South Africa.  This blog is our attempt to do that, while keeping everyone informed and entertained during the trip. 

Unlike Mike's blog, this incarnation of "Outtakes and Observations" will be written by many different people on the trip.  It will give us many different views and perspectives.  Each one should carve out their own personal piece of a beautiful word puzzle.  

I realize that we will never be able to live up to Mike’s impeccable standards, but I hope that he would be pleased with our efforts.  In fact, I know he would be.  He loved hearing many different voices and bringing them all together into one story, which is exactly what should happen on this page with each entry.

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I'm looking forward to each post, and I hope you are as well.  Enjoy.

Carey D. Martin is Director of Information and Public Relations for the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation.