I haven’t published any blog pieces in a really long time, but I’ve
decided to do a little writing again. First though, an explanation. As I
mentioned here when I stopped writing, I needed my writing time for a
different kind of project, something I always dreamed of doing, writing and
directing a film.
And, I have spent the last year writing, filming, and now editing a
film. The film is entitled The Restoration, and is coming together in
the editor’s room, which today is no longer a physical place but is
instead, an electronic pallet inside Premeire Pro, a simply amazing
First, before I move on to other subjects, let me just say, it’s
important to have a dream and live it out. Whatever it is, don’t push
it away with thoughts of “I can’t do that.” All of us, every single
human, possess the ability to have a dream and carry it out. This is
true because we are not alone in this universe, there is a higher
power all around us, permeating us — that created this pallet — so
we might exercise our free will to paint on it.
So paint away, and if your dream is love motivated, that higher power
will melt away every obstacle in your path as you do!!
And speaking of a love motivation, I want to devote the rest of this
column to a truly great man.
The Great Mike Miller
Twenty-five years ago, Maryland Senate President Mike Miller made me a promise.
As he shook my hand one cold December day in his office — Miller
promised to pass the bill authorizing the MD Prepaid College Trust, unanimously, and he did just that, only a few months later on Sine Die, twenty-five years ago…When I heard recently – that he was having health problems, I felt called to go thank him personally for that most excellent and brilliant thing he did for the 250,000 college-bound students that make up the beneficiary pool — which totals (as of this week) $6 Billion!!
As he shook my hand and grasped my arm this morning, when I got out
onto the Senate floor to surprise him and thank him — I could still feel the great
strength and warmth that radiates from him like a campfire on a cold
There will never be another Mike Miller.
He has stood as a proud, resourceful, and ever-watchful Sentinel over
the great state of Maryland for so many decades, the idea of a
leadership team running the state, that isn’t captained by him, is
After I thanked him for his foresight and support all those years ago, I mentioned how a few of the first contracts ever sold (to me) went to support my son Max, who graduated from Cornell and now works for the State of Maryland Judiciary, and my daughter Merrill, who graduated from Duquesne and now works for Enterprise Rent-a-car. Miraculously, I then got a chance in front of the entire Senate to thank him and mention how many students have benefited from this program and had their entire lives impacted by getting a college education.
As I sat there waiting to see how long I could stay before they booted me out Mike had someone from his staff bring me a Senate lapel pin (I know this part sounds fake but it isn’t) and I got a tear in my eye. A few moments later Mike mentioned, right from the President’s podium — crying more himself lately — while recognizing Senator Cheryl Kagen — who herself was choked up at that exact moment, because, YES, she has finally passed, after long years of work, her 911 emergency response system improvement bill.
It must be a new Senate hay fever.
My public thanks to Senator Kagen who got me onto the Senate floor as
her guest, and who had such a stunning victory today. If you know Cheryl, you know she doesn’t get emotional easy – but she was really choked up when they called her 911 emergency systems improvement bill for the third reader – and it passed!
I’m proud of her. The 911 system needs upgrading and Cheryl got it
done. Mike rarely congratulates a Senator from the President’s chair,
time does not permit, but he did today.
All in all, a brilliant day. Congratulations Cheryl. Congratulations, much love and much respect to Mike Miller, Maryland’s Sentinel of the Senate for all of my children’s lives and most of mine.