Beth Rengel is a well known personality because of her history in public life. She had a successful television career as a reporter and evening news anchor in Baton Rouge, Atlanta and Tulsa for more than two decades. She covered stories like the Oklahoma City bombing, a major oil spill off the coast of Mississippi and went behind the scenes of the only facility in the country where people live who were afflicted with leprosy. She interviewed interesting people like former First Lady Roselyn Carter to Oprah.
Beth started her love for writing as a child and didn’t realize that she would someday use her life experiences to become an author and speaker.
She was third runner up in the Miss America Pageant as Miss Texas. As a result she was chosen to be part of the Miss America USO Show and toured parts Europe entertaining the troupes. She sang with the New Christy Minstrels traveling all over the United States. Once again, she decided to try something else, residential real estate and was named Rookie of the Year.
As a true entertainer, Beth can make you laugh and cry with her stories of success and failure. Reinventing is what she has done her whole life. She has many stories to uplift you with her messages of taking risks, not getting caught up in the Illusions of Life, Listen to your gut And Never Give Up.
“A person’s ability to entertain, inform, and enlighten us is in direct proportion to the real-life experiences they have had. Beth Rengel has a world of experience ranging from a talented beauty-pageant winner to the anchor of a fast-paced hard-hitting newscast. Her book will cause you to think, reconsider, and refocus your life as she shares her life with you.”
~Jim Stovall, Bestselling Author, The Ultimate Gift
It was over a decade ago when I received a call at my office requesting an appointment for a meeting with Beth Rengel. That simple phone call created a flood of memories and emotions in my mind.
I had grown up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and had enjoyed a typical Midwestern upbringing until, as a teenager, I was diagnosed with a condition that would cause me to lose my sight. My plans of being a professional athlete were shattered along with any other ideas I had ever had about what I might do with my life. Trying to visualize myself as a blind person fitting in anywhere just didn’t seem to work.
At that same time, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, there were billboards, commercials, and media announcements about a new broadcaster coming to town named Beth Rengel. As a teenager who still had my sight at that time, the photos and video images of Beth Rengel immediately informed me and everyone else in town that this was not going to be your typical, gray-haired, middle-aged guy
in a business suit delivering the news each night. Beth Rengel, through some trials and tribulations, proved to her colleagues and everyone at home watching her on television that she was much more than a pretty face.
In the ensuing decades, Beth has had a world of experiences, dealt with triumph and tragedy, and through it all, became a person that you will enjoy getting to know within the pages of this book.
That first meeting with Beth Rengel in my office created a bond between Beth and me that has made us colleagues and friends. The book you are reading now has been in the making for a decade, and the stories and experiences that make up this book are the product of a rich and full lifetime.
As an author of 27 books and as someone who has had six of his novels turned into movies, I am always looking for a great story. As a bestselling author of fiction, I pride myself on creating fascinating characters and putting them in the middle of compelling stories, but on my best day, I could not have created a fictitious character as powerful, fascinating, and diverse as the real-life Beth Rengel you are preparing to meet.
As you read Beth’s story and experience her life, please do as I have done as I have gotten to know Beth, and use her experiences and perspective to create a context that will allow you to anchor your own priorities while stretching your potential impossibilities.
I have lived my life driven by three clichés: My grandmother always said, “You don’t regret the things you do, but the things you don’t do.” My mother would remind me “You’ll never know unless you try.” And my father had a way with words – “Well, hell, if you fail, it’s better than a kick in the ass.”
The first time I was put to the test was as a senior in high school in Wichita Falls, Texas. My father sat me down and profoundly said, “Mae Beth, you’re graduating this year. You have three choices: Get a job, get married or get a scholarship.” My older sister was given a full four year scholarship because she had a beautiful voice. She went on to become a successful opera singer in Europe for almost 27 years. I had no idea what I was going to do until an opportunity presented itself to me.
Those three clichés have driven many of my life choices in family and in several careers. Life has proven to me that you always have to walk through your fears, take risks and persevere.