Drum Roll Please...Introducing Our 2019 LTYM-STL CAST!

JAMES BAKER

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 James Baker and his wife Terry (alum of LYTM) are parents of 5 adult children and  grandparents of six, all in the St. Louis area.  James sang with the Greenleaf Madrigal Singers for over 30 years, served on the Kirkwood Landmarks Commission, serves on the Faith and Des Peres Presbyterian Church building team, and is a member of the St. Louis County Historic Buildings Commission. He is a retired Special School District of St. Louis County administrator.  Following retirement from SSD, he taught at Missouri School for the Blind for 5 years. In 1995 he debuted his first book, Glimpses of Meramec Highlands - St. Louis’ Only Exclusive Health and Pleasure Resort, which received the Kemper Local History Award from the Kirkwood Historical Society. He then wrote his 2005 book King Trolley and the Suburban Queens about streetcar service in St. Louis County and his 2018 book, Meramec Highlands - Another View Vol. 1.  He is currently at work on volume 2.  He has contributed articles to Education Unlimited, MSTA School and Community, the Webster-Kirkwood Times, Kirkwood Historical Review, and Missouri Historical Review.  His writing is also included in the Kirkwood Historical Society’s Transitions Through Time – New Uses for Kirkwood Historical Buildings, and Kirkwood – A Pictorial History published by G. Bradley Publishing Co.  James is delighted to join LTYM and share memories of his mother.  He is grateful for the support from Terry who encouraged him to submit a piece. You may contact him at jfbmhbooks2003@yahoo.com, James Baker at LinkedIn, or the Meramec Highlands Facebook page. The Meramec Highlands Books Company website is meramechighlands.com

CYNDI DAVIS

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 Cyndi Davis was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but has lived in the St. Louis, Missouri area since 1980.  For the last 16 years she has lived in Dardenne Prairie, Missouri. She has been married to her husband, Drew Davis, for 19 years, but they have known one another since 7th grade!  They have four children, Abbi (17), Tyler (15), Harrison (12), and Nick (9).  The kids all attend school in the Wentzville School District in St. Charles County.  They are extremely busy with the kids’ activities and spend many hours a week on the soccer fields, baseball fields, lacrosse fields, volleyball courts, and at the skate park.  She considers herself a professional taxi driver!  Currently, she is a woman of many trades.  She runs her own online resale boutique, works for Scout & Cellar Clean Crafted Wines in the position of senior manager, and she works part-time in a marketing role for a local small business, Patterson Family Farms.  She also has her own blog where she shares the crazy adventures of having a large and extremely entertaining family!  Cyndi is thrilled and honored to be a part of the 2019 Listen to Your Mother Show in St. Louis!  She is looking forward to the opportunity to meeting everyone involved with this amazing production, and is very excited to share her story with you!  You can find her blog at http://dailydoseofthedavis6.blogspot.com/. You can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cyndi.a.davis and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/cyndi_davis/.   

ANNEMARIE DEUTSCHMANN

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Annemarie was raised in St. Louis, been married for almost 23 years to Gary who always tells people, “She is the comedian, I’m just the funny guy.” Her two teenagers are the light of her world and are currently learning to drive, so watch out! They are active with school activities and stay very busy. However, they would tell you that their passion to serve and lead within their church youth groups is one of their favorite things to do.

She began her career in administrative work and project management. Following that, Marketing, Sales, Collaborative, Outreach work which eventually led to a strong partnership with a local city to help develop a senior community program. This work led her to support her mother who had dementia and kept her socially engaged. After her mother’s passing, Annemarie soon began doing outreach for hospice and now works with families needing care for a loved one with Dementia/Alzheimer’s. 

One thing remained constant, LAUGHTER GOT HER THROUGH! She has

performed stand-up comedy at the Funny Bone, performed comedy

for private parties, and even comedic speaking for work retreats.

Recently, she has spoken to multiple organizations on

the powerful effects of laughter and why it is so important when

helping families. She is truly passionate about speaking and helping others find the humor in tough situations.

You can follow her speaking events at www.lmaonow.com

or you can email her at bookings@lmaonow.com

CAROLINE HACKMEYER

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  Caroline Hackmeyer is a writer, maker, teacher, and dreamer. She, her husband Brett, their two fantastic kids -- Aurora, 11 and Rhys, 4 --  and goofy dog Hatch live in a historic city home north of Delmar where there are always at least 3 projects that need doing.  Their chickens Rainbow, Maude, and Zora live in a lovely coop in the back garden and dine daily on the most delightful kitchen scraps. Caroline is an avid gardener who strives to create native-planted outdoor spaces that nurture wild animals and wild children. She’s looking forward to spring so that she can spend time in the sunshine and fresh air digging in the dirt, riding her bicycle, and walking. 

Caroline is also a National Board Certified high school English teacher and active member of the Gateway Writing Project. She is proudest of her work empowering student voices and fostering their love of writing through her classroom writing practice.

Caroline is looking forward to sharing some of her own fierce mother’s story -- and the therapeutic laughter that comes with it -- with the LTYM audience. She is grateful to be part of such a talented community of storytellers!  

You can follow some of my adventures on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carolinasaurus_rex/

HANNAH MAYER

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Hannah Mayer is a nationally award-winning blogger, humor columnist and exponentially blessed wife and mother of three. She would trade everything for twelve uninterrupted hours in a room with Jon Hamm and two Ambien. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Pop Sugar Moms and Country Living. You can find her on FacebookInstagram or at her blog, sKIDmarks." target="_blank">https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif"/>




LINDA O'CONNELL

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Linda O'Connell and her husband Bill have a blended family of four adult children. Robin, Michele, Tracey, and Jason have blessed them with nine grandchildren and three great grandchildren who have provided lots of laugh lines.

Linda, a retired early childhood teacher, is a freelance writer. Her stories appear in 29 Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Sasee Magazine, and many other regional, national and international publications.

The ocean tugs on Linda's Midwest soul with the same intensity the moon pulls the tide. She considers a hearty laugh, a walk on the beach, and dark chocolate some of her favorite things.
https://www.facebook.com/linda.oconnell.3538
Twitter - writerlindaO
https://lindaoconnell.blogspot.com

 

JENNIFER O'KEEFE

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Jen spends most of her time with her family, her husband, John and two children, Emily and Kyle. She loves being their biggest sports fan and watching them play something they love.  Jen also volunteers her time with causes that are important to her.  She co-facilitates a support group, Motherless Mothers, is a Cure for Carson board member, and is active in her parish. Jen has enjoyed being a part of the children’s school, coaching volleyball, and a current member of the school board.

Jen has a Master Degree in Social Work and has dedicated most of her career to helping people. She has worked within the foster care system and spent some time in elder law.    

Jen enjoys the quiet moments as much as she can. She has always enjoyed writing and is very excited to have been chosen as a LTYM cast member. As a child, she lost her mother to cancer. Jen comes from a family of five children and is close with her siblings. She hopes to honor her mother and her relationship with her siblings in her presentation of her piece.

Jen was thrilled to hear that this year, LTYM was supporting the local cause, SLOCA in honor of Denise Nagel. Jen knew Denise Nagel as she was a member of her parish and was part of the school staff.

FAWN PONZAR

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My husband Jesse and I have three girls: Jade, 14; London, 10; and Marley 8. I’m also a ‘Dog Mom’ of four. I’ve taught English at De Soto High School for ten years, as well as served as the yearbook advisor and the editor for the district newspaper, The De Soto Digest. My girls keep me busy with band, competitive cheer, and gymnastics, but I spend my “me time” at my local gym doing kickboxing and boot camps to train for obstacle courses. A Child of two addicts, I was raised mainly by my maternal grandparents who instilled in me the value of education and rising above the socio-economic position I was born into; thus, my proudest accomplishment thus far has been not only graduating high school, but earning my doctoral degree in educational leadership.

I am excited to be a part of this show, as I hope to create friendships with my fellow cast members and share our love of words. My lifelong dream has been to write; at my most vulnerable times I have been able to find solace in pen and paper when I had no one else with whom to share my secrets. I’m hopeful I will find others to listen to and read my stories with the opportunity Listen to Your Mother! Gives me. Please check out my blog at https://wordpantry537560657.wordpress.com/

SIOUX ROSLAWSKI

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Sioux Roslawski has one husband (until either Viggo Mortensen or Jason Mamoa come to their senses and decide to sweep Sioux off her feet) and  two children--Virginia and Ian, along with a son-in-law (Jason) and a daughter-in-law (Emily). The most important person in her life is Riley, her 13-year-old granddaughter. 

       In her spare time, Sioux finds forever homes for golden retrievers for Love a Golden (she's even traveled to Turkey to rescue dogs) along with reading voraciously. She's a middle school teacher, a freelance writer and is currently shopping around a middle-grades manuscript focusing on the Tulsa Race Riot (it was really a massacre, not a riot). Sioux blogs at https://siouxspage.blogspot.com

JULIE WATSON

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Julie Watson works in marketing and communications by day and writes novels and short stories by night. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Saturday Evening Post, The Summerset Review, Writer’s Digest, Aiming Low, and elsewhere. Her essay on the trials of living with a new rescue dog won first place in the 2018 Erma Bombeck Writing Contest, Global Human Interest Category.  

Julie’s greatest joys include embarrassing her sons Jack and Liam (20 & 12), hot date nights at the bookstore with her husband Martin, and anthropomorphizing the family's two dogs, Sky and Poppy. She can be found online at juliewatsonauthor.com and tweets at @julieinthelou. 

DONA WIEBLER

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 I am the mother of two wonderful girls...um...women.  I keep forgetting they are grown now, at 32 and 28. From the time they were born, I started apologizing to my mother for the things I put her through. I find as they grow older, I am still apologizing, and understanding mom more and more. We are originally from Illinois and moved to St. Peters in 1996 for my husband's job. We had 11 great years here until he passed away very suddenly from leukemia in 2007. My youngest and I briefly returned to Illinois, quickly figured out Missouri was actually "home" and are now here to stay. I am currently a speech/language therapist at Fort Zumwalt's Early Childhood Center and am amazed each day that I get paid to play with some of the greatest kids around. I have worked in Illinois public schools, United Services for Children in St. Peters, Easter Seals in central Illinois, and now at Fort Zumwalt, from which I hope to retire in 3 years. I love to travel and just got back from my first solo trip, to Washington DC. I plan to do much more of this in the near future. I also have a passion for words: reading them, saying them, writing them. I've written quite a bit about my children, my journey through widowhood, and my 2 incredibly special cats. I've limited my audience mainly to Facebook friends, but someday I may find the focus to follow through with putting together a book or two. 
I'm really looking forward to the experience of LTYM. I find other people's points of view fascinating, and of course, it's always good to know we're not alone in our trials and triumphs. Thank you for this opportunity!

 

JEN YORK

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 Jen York is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) working in private practice in the St Louis area. She believes she is called to this work to help foster the mother/baby bond. She credits this work as a source of healing for her own childhood trauma. She is proud to have been born and raised in Chicago, IL. Jen and her firefighter/paramedic husband Colin, relocated to St. Charles, MO after the birth of their first son. Their family grew to welcome 2 more boys. They are a wild and free family of 5. Jen and Colin home-school their children and enjoy hiking and camping whenever possible.  

Co-PRODUCERS/DIRECTORS

NAOMI FRANCIS

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Naomi has been planning parties & events for more than twenty years, specializing in sponsored events & fundraisers.  In addition to loving every minute as Co-Producer/Co-Director for LTYM-STL, she is writing a book.  She is married to Ron, who is serving our country in the military and has twin 8-year old boys, Jake & Luke, along with a rescue puppy.  So, her household is always one big party that she's forever trying to clean up!

LAURA EDWARDS-RAY

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Laura is the very proud Mom of  two daughters - one a Special Education teacher at Hazelwood Central Sr High, and the other a Senior at Mizzou, and one stepson in Savannah.  She's the Executive Producer (with her husband Tom) of 'Papa Ray's Vintage Vinyl Roadshow', Sales Executive at BeLeaf Life's Oil,  author of the  'Brain Dead in the Burbs & Cooking Your Way Back to Sanity" series.  She also wrote her first screenplay, "Walking on Lily Pads - Unfortunately a True Story", & Vintage Vinyl - The Magazine.  And for the 7th year in a row, she is very proud to be Co-Producer/Director of LTYM-STL with her dear friend, Naomi Francis.   For the third year, Co-Producer/Director of "The Story Bee Show - STL" with Wyntra Storms.  She also starred in "Funny Girls -The Experiment" with Diane Kline,  and every Wednesday, Laura co-stars in the YouTube cooking show with her two BFF's, Regi Drake & Fritzie Reeves, called "Brain Dead & Cooking with Friends"...and yes, she knows this photo makes her look like she has gas.