Saturday, January 24, 2009

Who in the World Is Luke Song?

Imagine working at a job you love and doing it well. Many people don’t get to experience that satisfaction, so those of us who do are very lucky.

But now imagine that you suddenly and unexpectedly receive international recognition for what you already love doing. It’s something many of us dream of, and it’s wonderful to hear about it actually happening to someone. After all, if it can happen for them, then maybe it can happen for us.

Take Luke Song, a Detroit milliner/hat designer. For him, this Monday was probably just like most days in the life of a hat designer. On Tuesday, when Aretha Franklin took her place at the inaugural podium, the eyes of the world were riveted, not on her but on her hat. Whether you love it or not, there’s no denying the hat is an attention grabber.

That creation was designed by Luke Song, whose family business, Mr. Song Millinery, has been making hats for several decades. This week, thanks to Ms. Franklin, everything came together at just the right time and place, and he became fashion industry icon.

According to the Detroit Free Press, “By Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Song had sold hundreds of hats. A store in Dallas had sold 500 more, and the material was running out. ‘People are calling from England, asking for the hat,’ said Luke Song, who designed Franklin's chapeau. ‘I'm shocked. I had no idea. We did not expect this.’ ”


And then there’s the US Airways pilot who landed his disabled aircraft in the Hudson River last week. I’m guessing that Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III has always been an outstanding pilot, admired and respected by his family, friends and colleagues, but most of his passengers would only have known his voice as he welcomed them aboard and hoped they had a pleasant flight. Now he’s a hero—the pilot we all want in the cockpit the next time we fasten our seatbelts and ensure that our seatbacks are in the upright position.

How does a person handle being catapulted into the limelight after working in relative obscurity?

If you’re Luke Song, you immediately get to work on an entire line of bow-inspired hats and plan to display them at the Women’s Wear in Nevada trade show in Las Vegas next month.

If you’re Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III (isn’t that an absolutely perfect name?), I imagine the talk show hosts are clamoring for a chance to interview you, and I’ll bet there’s a good chance there’ll be a book deal, and maybe even a movie.

The stuff dreams are made of, right? So here’s a question. If your dream comes true tomorrow, are you ready to make the most of it?


Switching topics, Winter Peck, an aspiring Christian romantic suspense author, is holding a Valentine’s book giveaway on her blog. Among the prizes are four Harlequin American Romances:

The Good Mother by Shelley Galloway
Marriage on Her Mind by Cindi Myers
Temporarily Texan by Victoria Chancellor
The Man for Maggie by Lee McKenzie
For a chance to win, drop by her blog and post a comment. Then check back on February 14 when she announces the winners!

Happy reading, and keep on dreaming!

Lee’s blog
Lee’s website


Magdalena Scott said...


Great blog, and a very thought provoking question. I imagine life in the limelight could be blinding at times.

Theresa Ragan said...

Wonderful blog, Lee. Inspiring. You never know when you'll get your 15 minutes of fame.

Gillian Layne said...

Great post, Lee! You know, I was just tickled by all the "wow" that hat brought about. I didn't even know people wore hats anymore. But even funnier, my teen daughter bought a very 1940's hat and wears it with aplomb, and gets stopped and asked where she bought it!

Very, very good point to writers. Great inspiration for writing and polishing everyday, so that when the Call comes, we are ready. :)

Lee McKenzie said...

Thanks, Magdalena. I agree about the limelight being blinding. And yet the dream of fame, fortune and success - which mean different things to different people - seems pretty universal.

Lee McKenzie said...

Good point, Theresa! Of course, most of us hope that if it happens to us, it'll last longer than fifteen minutes :)

Lee McKenzie said...

Gillian, your daughter sounds like a delightful young woman with a mind of her own.

I wear hats for two reasons - to keep my head warm and dry in the winter and to keep the sun off it in summer. I'm totally envious of anyone who wears a hat with aplomb!

Anita Birt said...

Loved the post, Lee. How would I feel if I became a best seller author? That's my little dream. I would smile and smile and thank my lucky stars that I didn't quit writing when the going got tough.

I'm sure I could cope with the limelight! Bring it on.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful for Luke and Sully to be recognized for all the hard work that led up to their moment in the limelight!

I wonder if anyone is ever really prepared for it – or if the form it takes (and their own reaction to it) is always a surprise.

I must say, I'd love to find out how I react to the spotlight! (Or so I like to think now, anyway.)


Lee McKenzie said...

Anita, you'll look stunning in the limelight. I hope your dream comes true!

Lee McKenzie said...

So true, Rachel. There's no way to predict how an opportunity will present itself or how we'll respond to it, but it sure is fun to imagine the possibilities!