Just reminiscing about being a big-shot.  I had my fifteen minutes of fame—I’m being modest, it was more than that, more like forty-five minutes—ah, let me round it up to an hour with the “nice-to-meet-you’s” thrown in.  Let me tell you about it.

In 2005 I received a Doctor of Ministry Degree at the age of seventy.  Yes, that was me, Oneta R. Hayes, D.Min.  My niece was quite proud of my achievement so she bragged me up to her friends, who invited me to speak to them when I came down their way.  That was not that easy since it was seven hundred miles away, but, hey, who can resist a slot as speaker with a nice lunch thrown in.  I couldn’t.  So we made plans.

I arrived at the right place at the right time; it was easy to remember where and when because that was where the food was served.  When I arrived I found that I was not a part of the program; I was the program.  Now that was big stuff for me, big shot, VIP!  That’s how it came about that I stretched my fifteen minutes of fame to forty-five minutes.

Jean, my niece, had built up their expectations with such flamboyant PR—such and such years as an educator with five years in administration (true, but those five years were as a registrar and I never thought of it as administration, well, I guess it was); such and such years as a Toastmaster’s International speaker (yes, but speeches had to be kept to less than seven minutes); published writer (true, several times. but only in religious magazines and church papers, she made it sound like I belonged on the New York Times Best Seller list); accomplished singer (accomplished? – are you kidding).  Then she loudly lauded longer. “Received her doctorate at seventy years of age.”  They probably thought, “Dear Me, why did it take that long?”  I was too late in thinking that I should have taken my diploma and dissertation to prove Jean’s assertion that I sure enough had a doctor’s degree ‘cause they sure couldn’t tell by looking at me.

Some folks out there might be comfortable with being big-shots because you really are big-shots.  But I’m not.  So I had to be creative in how I was going to handle my forty-five minutes of being looked over, as they judged whether or not they were getting cheated out of a good three house of television plus they had to prepare a dish, get all gussied up, and use $1.80 worth of gas to get there.

With all that in mind, I hear Jean, “Now here she is, Dr. Oneta Hayes!”  And I’m on with a rousing tune, “Hey look  me over, hey lend an ear. . And after all the hoopla, Oneta Hayes is here.”  Sure enough, it worked!  I had their attention; I might also have shown that she exaggerated somewhat when she said I was an “accomplished” singer.

We had a good time.  After all, I am a pretty good egg, coming from my momma and daddy.  But an egg has no life of it’s own.  It has to be warmed; and life for me has to be warmed by the Holy Spirit.  That happened and we had a terrific time.  And I didn’t go that much over time.

And I found that Guest Speaker is pretty much fun, especially since I experienced something I had never experienced before.  “What was that?” you ask.  Guess?  I got to be first in line at the buffet table!




About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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  1. Pingback: Hope you will come over… | Blogger's World!

  2. Wow! Congratulations – you have so much to be proud of – well done! 😊🎊🎉🎇🎆

  3. calensariel says:

    What a wonderful story! I would have been petrified!!! I canNOT speak in front of people! Which is one reason I liked working behind the scenes at our women’s retreats. I NEVER led them!

    • oneta hayes says:

      You really should find a Toastmaster’s group to join. At least ours is a lot of fun and does help in an amazingly short time. Good thing about it is you get credit for a “speech” even if it doesn’t last more than a minute or two. Most every body finds they have a love of speaking once they know they cannot fail! I have been speaking for years, yet I froze up at my last club contest, so it is not absolutely fail proof but nobody goes through something someone else has not already been through. And about the club contest, I just realized I had to look at my notes, so I did that and continued my speech. But . . .I lost. 😀 No one has to do things like enter contests, however.

  4. simpledimple says:

    Wow! That was a profound moment for you, I believe. Congrats for doing a good job with that rare opportunity. 🙂

  5. Olga says:

    Loved your story about your past glory, Oneta. ❤

    • oneta hayes says:

      It really was fun but is was short lived. My fifteen minutes stretched to forty-five, in the light of eighty-two years, doesn’t seem much to shout about. But thank you. In all honesty I have had a few more “spots” in the sun. But plenty of competition to put me in the shadow. Thanks, Olga.

  6. shoreacres says:

    There was a time in my life when I dreaded public speaking — even reading aloud in front of the class in school — but eventually I came to enjoy it. It sounds like you had a receptive audience, and a good bit of fun. Being first in the buffet line, of course, was the cherry on top. Life does have its little treats, doesn’t it?

    • oneta hayes says:

      So glad you appreciate the highlight of that trip. And it was my shot at being first in the buffet line. I don’t want to now; I’ve noticed those in line first are the ones who need help. I don’t want help filling my plate. So with much humility . . . I’ll wait for second place. Linda, you recognize my sense of humor, don’t you? I’d hate to be taken seriously sometimes. My public speaking story is fraught with trauma. Funny though. I need to share it along the line when I need another laugh at myself.

      • shoreacres says:

        You’ll like this. I don’t remember the occasion, except that it was high school. I do remember that, as I walked into the room, I dealt with my high level of anxiety by pretending I was Sophia Loren acting my part. It was a little convoluted, but it worked!

  7. vronlacroix says:

    You are too modest. You have achieved much, and that was well deserved recognition. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Thanks, Vronlacroix. Tell me how to say your name. So much important stuff I don’t know! 😀 😀

      • vronlacroix says:

        Hi, well vron is short for veronica, and lacroix is pronounced lah-kwah, the last part being kind of made at the back of the throat. And you probably know that it means ‘the cross’. This particular family name was born a thousand years ago, in Vallée Vert, Haute Savoie, the men in the family were flour millers. But the name changed at that time from another Bansoud meaning-good money , a lucrative business of course. There is a family crest too.

  8. pamkirst2014 says:

    Wonderful–I love your opening! And registrars are key administrators–what gets done without the Registrar?????

    • oneta hayes says:

      You’re right. Not much got past me. That is the place I decided that if I would put all my ducks in a row (academically), I could enter the doctoral program, as I sat day in and day out helping others get into the program. The light dawned! I’m glad; the greatest experience I’ve ever had (again, academically) was doing the research and writing that dissertation. I didn’t have to start from scratch because a lot of my material came from material I had researched for teaching years of adult classes in Sunday School and other experiences like that. Put it together, organize, document, write, fill in the weak spots, document, research, write, erase, do it again – you get the picture.

  9. tomrains says:

    Haha this was a really pleasant and amusing read! Glad you enjoyed your time – will be sure to follow 🙂

  10. dawnlizjones says:

    Okay, I was impressed before. Now I’m even MORE impressed. I got what my dad calls a Ph.T.; i.e., when my husband was in grad school, I “Pushed Him Through”. Thanks, Dr. Hayes!!

    • oneta hayes says:

      Yes, I have one of those too, but nobody ever told me. My first degree was an MRS. I tumbled right into that. Not much effort involved. The PHT – yes, that was a big time struggle. Glad to know we share that pain and victory!

  11. Hildegard says:

    As I said over on Bloggers’ World: Oneta, you are a hoot! What a wonderful way to let us enjoy these amazing accomplishments with you! Thanks for sharing this with such humour and love! 🙂 A good egg indeed!

    • oneta hayes says:

      Thanks, Hildegard. I had some of this on my “about” at one time but for some reason it doesn’t seem to be there now. I had a great time writing my dissertation. If I had known then what a blogger was, perhaps I would have foreseen my future. So glad you enjoyed it. You have a fun piece today on your blog. I enjoyed seeing you rationalize and rationalize some more until you finally found a place to insert your completed “sextet” or “sexteen” or whatever you came up with to get your “A” grade. I was convinced! 😀

  12. This was such a delightful read. By the sounds of it you had a blast!! Congrats on your one hour of fame that is so much more than many of us can possibly hope to achieve. Have a nice weekend!

  13. Ohh Oneta, I feel so proud reading this! This is what I want to be when I am 70.
    Congratulations on your accomplishments and for continuing to inspire many of us with your writing 🙂

    • oneta hayes says:

      Rashmi, I don’t know how I missed this comment before. Hoping late is better than never to let you know I appreciate you and your nice words. I am in awe of you young people who are so encouraging to me. You are a great help in the blogging world.

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