Emotions carried me through our entire visit with Danny Dillon at the Coleman Theatre in Miami, OK. As he shared anecdotes from teaching high school drama, I was running a parallel process internally. Having taught high school drama for eight years, I had experienced a similar story for each one he told. Cripes, I missed the theatre…and Dillon did everything he could to help us enjoy the full experience of the Coleman the day we sat and talked…which made me miss it even more.
Our photographer and videographer filled up too many memory cards to count during our time with Dillon. We could produce multiple pieces of the Coleman’s history, special features about the tourists going walking through the the theatre’s plush hallways with us, profiles of the volunteers who spend hundreds of hours using the donor’s hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring back the original glory, and more.
And we may. Someday.
But our first duty is to those with whom we get to know, and we had a beautiful conversation with Dillon. His full heart is invested in what he does at the high school, his church, and at the Coleman. It’s as if he has three hearts…no, four. He even got new staging for schools to ensure students have access to the best equipment for their performances and presentations.
Even after having documented the Miami stop over six months ago, I am quite awestruck when I think about how many children have been introduced to the school stage, to plays and musicals, to silent movies with amazing organ music, and to history…because of Danny, the Coleman at large, and the “extra at-large” community that makes it happen.
We are tipping our Tom Mix hats to you, Miami. You’re really quite something.