For Fans of Jim Abbott
I am often asked how I started working with Jim Abbott. Several miracles have led me to be associated with this amazing man and the wonderful life I have today.
In 1966, when I was 10, I was in an accident and lost a great deal of my left hand. My mother was devastated that I would not be able to type, a very important skill to her. From Orthopedic Hospital in Los Angeles, where I stayed for about 2 months, she marched to the phone. She asked to be put through to the giant of the 1960's typewriter industry, IBM. Once connected, she demanded to talk to the President! A very nice man came on the line. She told him about the accident. He said, "This is really odd, but I have a one hand typing manual on my desk right now. I don't know how it got here, but let me send it to you as my gift."
Thirty five years later we realized a miracle had happened. She could not have been talking to the President of IBM. She had asked the operator to put her through to IBM in Los Angeles. IBM had no large office in LA at the time. They must have connected her to a some small repair, or sales office. Yet, there was a one hand typing manual, waiting for her call.
In 1987 I started booking professional speakers for a speakers bureau my mother, Dottie Walters, owned. Soon I began to write books about the speaking industry, Secrets of Successful Speakers, and What To Say When You're Dying On the Platform, Speak and Grow Rich, and several others (see amazon.com for a complete list ).
Two of the speakers I worked with decided to create a book with the special signature stories speakers use in their talks. They asked my mother and I to contribute. My mother told the story of how I learned to type with one hand. Soon, those books, the Chicken Soup for the Soup series, became very popular and I began getting calls every day about one hand typing! "Where is that typing manual? I need one!" So, in 2000 I began to write The One Hand Typing and Keyboarding Manual.
In all of my books, I use quotes from famous people. For my typing manual I went to Sen. Bob Dole, Art Berg, Bree Walker and many others with a challenge. During the time I was working on gathering those quotes, I walked through the living room while my husband was watching TV. I stopped and asked him who came to mind when he thought of those with hand or arm challenge. Pointing at the screen he said, "You should call that guy, Jim Abbott." At that exact moment the TV was showing a clip of Jim!
I don't follow sports and had never heard of Jim. "Really? Is he famous?" My husband just sighed in disgust at my ignorance.
I called Jim and asked if he would give me some motivational quotes for the children who would need my manual. Remarkably, he immediately said yes. At the time I didn't realize magnitude of his heart. He always says yes.
I began to occasionally book Jim as a speaker. The more I got to know him, the greater my respect, admiration and love.
In 2003, even though, according to Jim and my husband Marty, I know less about baseball than anyone in the world, I began working just for Jim.
Today I keep Jim's very busy calendar, book his speaking engagements, take care of his blog and answer your questions.
My hobby is painting just about anything! Face painting, fabric, glass, walls and floors. I am now an author of books and classes for face painters
I can't imagine how I could be more blessed or more happy.
I look forward to hearing from you.
- LillyWalters Schermerhorn