“What is…” Wednesday – What is Public Relations? Derek Jones’ Take
June 8, 2011
#MediaMonday – Steve Chernek
June 13, 2011

A postcard written to Myrtle depicting the Wailing Wall.

I met Dana Hughens a few years ago at Counselors Academy.  She was working for Fleishman-Hilliard in Raleigh at the time.  We spent some time chatting at the evening receptions, sharing stories.

Fast forward a couple years and Dana is now the CEO of her own firm, Clairemont Communications. I remember getting the email announcement that she had started her own firm and rather than reply via email, I picked up the phone and called her. It was that moment where the professional relationship evolved to a friendship.

Last year’s Counselors Academy was in Asheville, N.C. and I took advantage of the trip to come in a day early and spend it with Dana and her family.  It was during that visit that she first introduced me to Myrtle.

It seems Dana had come across 80 postcards that were written to Myrtle over the years, dating back more than 70 years ago.  These postcards somehow found their way to an antique shop in Bell Buckle, Tenn., just outside of Nashville, where Dana was living at the time.  A series of very fortunate events allowed Dana to take ownership of the postcards and begin what has now been an almost 10-year journey to learn more about Myrtle.

Dana shared her connection with Myrtle during a breakout session at this year’s Counselors.  She told us how the pull of the postcards and the stories behind them have opened her eyes to the tremendous power of the written word and how the simplest things bring us the most pleasure. 

Dana is assuming that Myrtle herself did not have the luxury of travel, but her friends did and from all points around the globe took the time to send Myrtle a postcard, elegantly describing the details of the different locations.  There was a passion in that kind of writing that may be lost in our 140-character Twitter/Text society.

Dana hasn’t figured out why Myrtle kept the postcards or how they came to be in a small antique shop on the day that she wandered in.  She is determined to find out, but for now, we can all take a lesson from Myrtle – words are powerful and meaningful and when shared with love and passion, will remain forever.

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio

4 Comments

  1. Stephanie Lough says:

    I recently found an old diary of a Russian who moved to Los Angeles from few decades ago. I haven’t read much yet (I’m lucky it is in English!) but I hope it is full of interesting stories. No luck so far.

    It is still cool to have something so mysterious! Just imagine if Myrtle or my Russian had a secret past, and there are clues in what they left behind. Maybe it will lead me to the Holy Grail or give an answer to the meaning of life. You never know!

  2. Very cool post. Like something right out of a movie.

  3. Dana Hughens says:

    Abbie…wow. I am so moved reading your account of the history of our friendship and thinking about how much you mean to me. The strongest memory of my first Counselor Academy conference is how welcoming you were. You engaged me and got me involved with others in the group right away.

    I love that I can now call you friend, and that you share in the excitement of my Myrtle journey. Thank you for being a tremendous leader and incredible friend. I think Myrtle is happy that we met. 🙂

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