Laurel, Mississippi - In Search of Ben & Erin, Pt. I


Over the years (twenty and counting) of doing my show I have developed a lot of professional relationships. One of those friends is inside the Discovery Network. I have booked a lot of guests in the Discovery family of networks over the years. It doesn't hurt that I watch some of their channels when I need to push away from my desk and prepping for the program.

It's a pleasant distraction.

On top of the list for me is HGTV and DIY. What can I say? There are some shows I simply enjoy and one I have grown to love. I don't toss that word around a lot or lightly. Love is a word reserved for Jesus, my family, very close friends, you, the listeners of The Morning Show with Preston Scott, and my vocation.

As I think about it, I guess it makes perfect sense that I write there is one show I have grown to "love."

I love "Hometown." Strange as it may come across, Ben and Erin Napier feel like friends.

Their show offers everything I find endearing...love, friendship, hope, vision, creativity, and hard work. It also offers a storyline which our hearts always embrace - the story of a comeback. Laurel, Mississippi is making a comeback. The interstate nearly made Laurel an afterthought. Now, the interstate makes it easy to find this modern day Phoenix rising from the ashes of irrelevance.

I am certain many have played a role in this ultimate renovation project, but the Napiers have been the catalyst for something so very important - belief. The people of Laurel bought in, literally. More on that later.

Hometown is really a romantic comedy. Ben and Erin's love for each other and their "hometown" is obvious. Their friends and friendships are woven into every episode. Erin doggedly believes in Laurel and "No" or "You can't do that" might as well be spoken in some obscure foreign language, because she will not hear those words, let alone abide by them. How do I know? I just do. Maybe it's the result of more than seven thousand interviews with all kinds of people - I just know. The Napiers and their fellow "Laurelites?" have hope and it has sparked the rest. The vision casting has brought forth a creativity which has led to hard work. It will come across in the photos I took. Yes, I took them, so don't give me any garbage about use of photos. I took each one...lol.

In the coming days I will share more about Laurel, its residents, businesses, and business owners. Some more indepth than others. I will also share more photos. The title of the blog leads to the obvious question.

Did I ever actually track down and find Ben and/or Erin?

You'll have to come back to find out. For now I will simply offer the thought that "searching" for Ben and Erin is really about looking for something we may be missing in many of our lives right now - love, friendship, hope, vision, creativity, and hard work.

Maybe it's the simple recipe for America, too.

You decide.


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