Old Mesilla – You’ll find a lot of history here including tales of ghost spotted in one of the restaurants even today!
I recently had the opportunity to go back home for about a week. I was in Las Cruces, NM not only to visit my parents, but I was also on program as the main speaker for my childhood church’s Centennial celebration.
A lot of people — A big deal!
I was so glad when my 45 minutes speech (which I thought was 15 minutes) was over. I worked on that thing for nearly 9 hours and still wasn’t sure how it would be received. As I told the crowd “When you go home, you just have to get it right.”
Boys II Men filmed their music video “Water Run Dry” here and you’ll also probably notice a few scenes from here in Transformers 2.
Fortunately it went over well and I’m so humbled to have had that opportunity. Out of the many speaking engagements I do each year, this certainly will make the top three.
I also of course got a chance to indulge a little while I was in the Land of Enchantment. There’s nothing like the real deal. People always ask me what is New Mexico like? It’s like a lot of places. We have grocery stores and mountains. Yes, it gets quite cold.
The food is phenomenal!
You have to make your own fun at times but, isn’t that almost everywhere?
Apparently NM has its own drink now. In case you’re wondering that’s the Zia symbol which is on the state flag.
Five decades after Dr. Martin Luther King shared his dream on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, I had a front row seat to history.
On the 50th anniversary of the famous “I Have a Dream Speech”, I traveled to the nations capital to report from the March on Washington. That was the story many of you saw on our newscasts, but wow where there some other great stories.
I rode up with a group of Roanokers on a chartered bus. One person asked me not to put them on camera because they called in “sick” to work. For this person, going to the march was that important. They’d been alive during the 1963 march. They were 15-years-old. They wanted to go then, but like a lot of parents at the time, mom and dad said no, not sure if the March of 1963 would erupt into violence.
Hollani Davis and WDBJ7 Photographer Rob Chewning reporting from the March on Washington August 28, 2013
Another person I talked with while covering this story also didn’t go to the March in 1963. At that time they too were a young adult. The person candidly and bravely admitted their family was fearful of blacks. By nature, this person inherited some of those same attitudes and it wasn’t until later, they realized we’re not so different.
That was the beauty of yesterday’s event, to watch people of all races and religions gather at the National Mall in harmony. There was so much bloodshed to get to this point and while we still have setbacks, reporting from the 50th anniversary was a picturesque moment that’ll be with me forever.
You know, I’ve been conducting my own little experiment over the past two weeks. It’s amazing how many people walk right past each other (the only two people in sight) and don’t say “Hello” or “Good Morning”. It’s also amazing how rude people are when they’re the customer; for instance, trying to check into a hotel.
What I’ve always known, but realize even more is the words “Hello” or “Good Morning” can be a gateway to getting you a lot of good stuff. Maybe the hotel clerk looks out for you in ways he/she might not have. Maybe, you just really saved someone from having a lousy day. If opening your mouth and speaking is too much, what about a smile? I just don’t get it when people pass each other and look away or look down.
I really think something this simple could truly change our society for the better. Perhaps if people were nicer to each other, you wouldn’t have some kid walking into an elementary school and shooting up dozens of people. Being rude has become the norm, not the exception now-a-days. It’s truly and utterly ridiculous.
My challenge to you? Try it and even if the person doesn’t reciprocate, you will feel better about yourself.
Let’s get the most pressing question out of the way. No, I didn’t win. However, the Salvation Army’s Turning Point won in a huge way this past weekend.
Dancing with the Valley Stars brought in an estimated $28,000 dollars in profit for the local domestic violence shelter.
I had such a great time being one of this years “Stars”. Kudos to my teachers Terry and Dawn Hall. Terry and I cha-cha’d our butts off. So much, so, I almost slipped at the end. But instantly I reverted back to my cheerleading days and just kept hearing that inner voice say “Stick It, Stick It”. I’ve also got to give credit to the professional teacher. He held on to me pretty well.
CLICK THE LINK TO SEE ME DANCE http://www.wdbj7.com/videogallery/73282825/News/WEB-EXTRA-Watch-WDBJ7-s-Hollani-Davis-routine-during-Dancing-with-the-Valley-stars
I had such a blast. I do have to say though, the real “Dancing with the Stars” on that network, not to be named, is definitely a lot harder than it looks. Then again, those contestants practice 8 hours a day. I practiced a total of about 4.
Thanks to all those including my sister and wonderful co-workers who came out to support. Now, onto the next challenge, whatever that may be!
Hollani Davis interviewing a student at Axton Elementary School in Henry County, Va.
So, this definitely falls under the category “If I would’ve known then, what I know no.” I remember sitting in my high school Spanish class thinking what a waste of time it was. Boy was I wrong. Even though I was born and raised in New Mexico and surrounded by Spanish, I never learned to speak fluently. Sure I know the standard greetings. I know how to conjugate and I can make out a sentence every now and then. That’s about it. I’ve gotta say it’s one of my biggest regrets.
I had the chance to do a story recently on Hispanic children in the Henry County school district. Virginia as a whole is seeing more students come in speaking very little English (or at least it’s not their first language). The thing is, eventually, they’re learning it. It’s tough and sometimes seems impossible, but they are learning because of teachers who refuse to give up.
Obviously, a topic like this can turn political, fast. From immigration, to “This is America, speak English”. The truth is, if we all sat back and thought about it, when has America ever been about just getting by, or just knowing the basics? Shouldn’t we pride ourselves on expanding our horizons?
I commend these kids who have two different languages under their belts. In my book, it makes them a little more knowledgeable and certainly more well-rounded. Perhaps we could all take a lesson from them.
I was invited to tour the Children’s floor at Roanoke Memorial Hospital to help spread a little cheer. This is one of the patients I met. We both discovered we have a love for Oreo Blizzards at Dairy Queen.
I have been having such a crappy few days! You know those days when things just aren’t going your way? What is it, one step forward, two steps back? Then, to top it all off, I was in a car accident over the weekend. Needless to say, I’ve been a little down and feeling sorry for myself.
Then, I was going through my email last night and I was reminded of last week when I visited a lot of the sick kids at Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Some of these kids, where out and about playing one day and in the hospital the next. We’re talking life-altering health issues. Babies, so tiny, they’re not even a pound. They’re parents are stressed, grieving and some barely clinging on to hope. Despite all this, these kids are MIRACLES.
Remembering this was the miracle I needed to let me know, life isn’t so bad.
When was the last time that you received something that cost less than 60 cents and it made your day?
In my line of work, I hear from our WDBJ7 viewers a lot. It happens when I’m out in public or I’ll get a telephone call. Of course there is Facebook and yes, plenty of emails. Every now and then I get a letter; but, it wasn’t until recently, I realized how appreciative of letters I am (especially when they are handwritten).
A viewer wanted to thank me for a recent story I did about a woman reuniting with the former State Trooper who came to her rescue some 30 years ago. That trooper was the one who wrote the thank you note. It wasn’t long, just a couple of sentences. However, that was enough! To feel appreciated, to know someone took time out of their day – in age when people don’t even speak when you pass them on the street – that’s pretty special.
So I ask, when was the last time you received a good ‘ole fashioned hand-written thank you letter? Better yet, when was the last time you wrote one?