How a chance meeting with my childhood friend at the NACE conference in New Orleans in 2018 lead to me being honored as a celebrity Author in my hometown in TN in 2019!

(1982, Me & Roxanne at Hank’s birthday party in our hometown)

Three years ago today, I was finishing up the second day of the NACE conference in New Orleans, LA when I saw a post on Instagram from a childhood friend, that made it seem like she was ALSO in New Orleans.

But how could that be possible?

Now. If you have attended week-long summer conferences before, I don’t care if Morris Chestnut is giving the keynote every single day, you want to be DONE by 5 pm. 🤣

THE Morris I speak of 🥰🥰

A lot of us just want relax and order room service after our day ends if we don’t have any required evening evengs. So that was my first thought as I walked back to my hotel: cool off and relax.

But what were the odds of me reconnecting with Roxanne outside of our hometown? We had lived 1400 miles apart at that point for more than 25 years. I believed it was meant for me to see her post.

So instead of me doing the comfortable thing, which would have been taking a shower and resting for the rest of the evening, I messaged her. And within a few minutes we had plans to meet for dinner.

We spent the next few hours catching up, talking about old times and enjoying the best fried fish I’ve ever had (don’t tell my husband! 🤣)

But our connection did not stop there.

I returned to Massachusetts, and Roxanne returned to Tennessee- bringing with her the information about my recently published children’s books. Within a few weeks I received a call from Roxanne connecting me with Dr. Alpha Alexander, a tennis professional and also hometown gatekeeper. Dr. Alexander invited me to return to my hometown to be honored as a celebrity author.

Then, 10 months later, I was honored AGAIN as a champion for girls by my local Girls Inc. Of Hamblen County!

Believe me, on that hot evening in June I did not anticipate my chance meeting leading to anything else aside from reconnecting. I just wanted to see my friend!

But this is a lesson for all of us. Even on the days you don’t feel like it, and I’m going to say especially on the days you don’t feel like it, make time for friends.

Honor your friendships, old and new- because you never know where they may lead!

Crystal Senter-Brown thinks everyone should write a book. And she would know, since she has already published seven on her own- with The Rhythm in Blue being turned into a full length film. She has been featured in Essence, Redbook, O Magazine and Atlanta Star Journal and is a regular contributor to Medium. She lives in New England with her husband and a dog who drinks her coffee when she is not looking.



I write the stories you love to read.

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