Now and then, one of my readers will refer to my twin sister and I or even one of our clients as a “hillbilly.” Ignorance speaks without forethought.
While I would love to educate everyone regarding their perceptions that are often inaccurate, I simply don’t have the time. Rather than being offended by such presumptions, I’ve learned in my old age to accept the things I cannot change while hoping that one day everyone learns empathy and/or compassion to alleviate such judgmental observations.
Today’s blog will go over why I’ve been busy blogging at my four other sites and away from this site for so long. If you aren’t aware of my other sites, I will add the links for you– Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham. Texas Twins Treasures. The Pawning Planners. Texas Twins Events.
I write blogs for all of my websites and these blogs are all created with one finger on an iPhone. I do not use a computer to write or post anything.
My iPhone is perhaps my most valuable “work tool.” My blogs are a diary of sorts for me and how I will write a book regarding “my dive into the events industry years ago.” It’s a wild ride full of unexpected twists and turns that amazingly gave four generations of my family the opportunity to “climb aboard” and ride with me.
What many people don’t know or understand is why I decided to create a People Over Profit based event business in the first place. The actual reason surprises many but truth is often stranger than fiction. My twin sister and I come from a broken home and family. Together, we left home at fifteen years old with the clothes on our backs. We had nothing. No car. No money. Nowhere to go. We were homeless and eating out of dumpsters when the Azle Police Department found us and transported us to Womens Haven.
Cindy and I are both supporters of numerous charitable organizations because it was a charitable organization that saved us from homelessness. We are the mothers we never had. The friends we have never known and the people we had never met. We are both survivors. We have always worked harder than our coworkers because we knew that a paycheck would keep us from poverty and homelessness. We had no one to fall back on other than each other. This fact surprises people but, it shouldn’t. The strongest people are those who overcame every obstacle and literally “made it to the other side.” Cindy and I have.Our first jobs were waitresses at Pizza Hut. Although we had been hired as waitresses with waitress wages however, Cindy and I were instead working as dishwashers. The moment we realized that waitresses made tips and dishwashers didn’t happened to be on a Friday night. I decided to tell the manager “we were hired to wait tables and not to wash dishes. We are also being paid below minimum wage and are unable to make tips. Either move us to the floor or you can wash these dishes yourself.” It would be the first time in my life that I would challenge management over pay but it wouldn’t be my last or Cindy’s either. The manager decided not to address the “elephant in the room” and instead told me to return to washing dishes. I advised him that my twin and I were leaving. He advised me “you are both wearing company shirts and you cannot quit wearing company attire.” Cindy and I both removed our company shirts and walked out of a packed restaurant in our bras and black pants to the song “Cocaine” playing on the juke box. We never looked back. Instead, we looked forward. Cindy and I both knew that staying at a job and working our asses off to benefit management rather than ourselves was stupid and survivors aren’t stupid.
Our next goal was to find real waitress jobs that paid real tips. Cindy and I would both work two waitress jobs each. I worked at Red Lobster and Denny’s while Cindy worked at IHOP and Ole South Pancake House. At the time, I was making the most money at Red Lobster. Cindy was earning the most on the midnight shift at Ole South. We were doing well. We had rented and furnished an apartment and bought two cars. But, the good times were drawing to a fork in the road. Red Lobster would start offering all you can eat meals and as a result my income would dramatically decrease due to the clientele. It took over a year before I finally quit busting my ass for a quarter here or penny there tip from cheapskate clients that would never pay our bills.
Cindy’s main source of income at Ole South would suffer at the same time when the restaurant burned down. Life would never be easy for the Texas Twins. It never has been. But, the twins would do whatever was necessary to survive and support ourselves which was how we finally wound up in sales.
I needed nice clothing to find a nice job. To supplement my income after quitting Red Lobster, I took a job at Whataburger where I was “discovered.” I was never “looking” for commercial work. Instead, commercial work found me. Since Cindy had lied about our ages to find work at our previous restaurant “gigs,” by the time I was selected to do Whataburger Commercials with Mel Tillis, I was only eighteen years old. It would be an eye opening experience into the world of television for me. Repeatedly doing the same thing over and over and over again seemed like a colossal waste of time to me but, you work to get paid and you get paid to work. I rolled with it.
Being put in a hotel although I lived less than 20 minutes from the filming location was also “odd” to me but by day 2, if I could have left filming to go home to my twin sister, I’m not sure that I would have returned to the set to be honest with you.
Filming is exhausting. People who have never filmed have no idea just how exhausting it actually is. I do. Cindy does. In fact, my entire family are aware of how exhausting filming is. Why? We have all been filmed over and over the past 6 years for various film projects.
Prior to my family being “miked up and on their mark,” everyone assumed that I was kidding about the monotony. They don’t anymore. Voice overs. Retakes. Say it this way. Do it that way. You get the point. I had extensive knowledge after thirty plus years in front of a camera. My family didn’t.
On our first film project together, my twin sister looked at me and said “oh my God I can barely move. This is the hardest work I have ever done. How the hell did you do commercials, print ads and all that runway shit for all of those years without dropping dead?” The answer? I had to. Ten to fourteen hour days pulling rack after rack, smiling when I felt like crying? You bet. I did it all and created an amazing collection of stylish clothing to snag sales job after sales job. Nothing in my life was easy for me. But, I made amazing amounts of money that I used to help my sister, our children and our grandchildren. I’ve always been the primary earner.
While I was doing commercials, Cindy was working double shifts at IHOP since Ole South had burned down. It would be while leaving IHOP one fateful night on my last day of filming with old Mel that my twin sister was raped. It would also be several months until we learned that she was pregnant. A car accident after a visit to the grocery store would be how we found out that my sister was pregnant with a child of rape. Cindy and I have never discussed who Leigh Ann’s father was because we have no idea who he is. We don’t care. Cindy and I became the mother and father to her daughters and my son as well as Cindy’s three granddaughters. Cindy and I have never had a “silver spoon.”
What did have was passion, perseverance and resilience. We also miraculously had each other. We are closer than other twins because we have endured far more than others. This makes us different. My sister is my hero while I am hers. Together, we are an incredible Twin Team. We took what the world threw at us and made sweet tea out of it. While it’s true that we live in Texas, we aren’t from Texas. Cindy is far more “country” because while I was traveling and modeling doing commercial work or high end sales, my twin sister married a dairy farmer.
Cindy’s hilarious #Cindyism Quotes are often cynical but also truthful. Her wisdom and insight are based entirely on what she has seen or observed.
Unlike Cindy, I’m not able to “come up with” a “spot on” quote simply because someone has asked. My twin is never without something to say.
Working a dairy wasn’t easy for Cindy. Being married to an abusive husband was equally disturbing. I rescued Cindy in a VW bug and brought her back to the city with me after she married Roy. Sure, my getaway car wasn’t exactly “peppy” but, I rescued Cindy and got her out of a bad situation. We’ve rescued each other over and over again and not only from a bad marriage either.
Cindy and I are both intolerant of abuse and during our first marriages, we were also under the misguided impression that “all women were pushed around.” We’ve learned that this isn’t true and we’ve learned how to defend ourselves. We had to. My twin sister and I would never tolerate anyone abusing our children or grandchildren and we both “broke the cycle of abuse” that we had endured as children.
My twin sister, stepsister and I were all sexually abused by my grandfather who was also a twin. When Cindy and I left home at 15, I was also pregnant. I lost the baby. Don’t be shocked. Understanding my sister and I is similar to peeling an onion.
Cindy and I are the five percentile. What does that mean? It means that we were physically and sexually abused beginning at a young enough age (6) to effectively “compartmentalize” the trauma we had endured. It’s quite rare.
Dr Harry Baker studied my twin and I for years trying to understand why we weren’t statistics. From suicides to drug abuse to alcoholism or prostitution, none of the 95% of sexual and physical trauma victims had dealt with what happened to them by “opening a box and putting the abuse into it before closing it and putting it away” but, Cindy and I had. By putting away what we couldn’t deal with, we overcame what had happened to us without counseling and without medication.
Cindy and I literally “overcame our past on our own.” This is why we were told that we both were of the five percentile. Cindy and I have never had time or the inclination to feel sorry for ourselves. Why? Because we are far too busy raising our families and working that’s why.
This site was put in place years ago specifically for our video production. During the same window this site was established, I was merging Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures to create The Pawning Planners.
Two years ago, I rebranded and expanded Texas Twins Events to include Texas Prison Weddings. I.E. I’ve been a little busy.
Our YouTube Channel for Texas Twins TV can be found by following this link– Texas Twins TV- Follow Our Unique Journey.
Due to the number of production companies contacting me, it should be noted that my Texas Prison Wedding Clients as well as other Prison Wedding Clients who are even remotely interested in sharing their story will be sharing it through interviews with me. Such interviews will be limited to 5 minutes and uploaded to Texas Twins TV.
I do not publish full names of any of my clients from TDCJ Weddings, Texas Twins Events or The Pawning Planners in order to protect my clients privacy. I’m incredibly protective of my clients and will not for any reason share their contact information with a stranger.
The interest in my clients is surprising to me. For years now, production companies have been interested in my family and I and for years now, finding someone to understand how and why we got to where we are today without fabricating or altering the actual details has been a literal escapade in futility.
Reality Television is far from real. Because of my extensive media knowledge, clients who might be interested in prison based docureality formats will be relying on me to operate in their best interests.
A standard reality contract is so deliberately one sided that it can easily be viewed as an Unconscionable Contract. While my clients and most laymen would be unaware of “signing their life away,” I’m not.
I would like to clarify that my client isn’t the inmate to avoid further confusion. The client is the “person on the outside.” The same person who is effectively “doing it all on their own.” These warriors are making long drives to weekend visits, paying for expensive phone calls and even putting money on the books of the inmate.
These same TDCJ clients aka warriors are also obtaining our services to handle not only their Prison Wedding Planning Process but also the Prison Wedding Ceremony.
Unit photos are $3 each in quarters and the only photos our clients will have with the inmate. Unit photos are taken by guards who do the best they can but are far from professional photographers. In an effort to give our TDCJ clients an opportunity to celebrate their wedding day, we also offer complimentary photography after an Inmate Wedding Ceremony.
I provide a rolling photo booth of props as a courtesy. The location is often within a few minutes from the Prison. I’m hoping this blog explains and clarifies how Wendy and Cindy changed the wedding and events industry one family at a time from Fort Worth, Texas and more importantly why we chose to.
The truth is that neither Cindy or I had anyone to help us with our own weddings. There weren’t any flowers, friends, bridesmaids or the like. In fact, I created an inventory of wedding dresses to loan clients because neither Cindy or I could afford to buy a wedding gown.
My family and I are providing the service to others that wasn’t available prior to Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners and TDCJ Weddings With Wendy Wortham because we saw the need for such services and also the gap of affordable options.
“PEOPLE that DECIDE to STOP trying to PLEASE everybody ELSE, are the HAPPIEST folks IN the WORLD” God Bless Us All..