First Treatment of the Script - December 7, 2010

After less than three weeks, we received the first "treatment" of the script. Sigh, breath in, breath out. The excitement/anxiety was far more prevalent than I imagined! A treatment is a 10-14 page summary of what the story will look like. While the direction of the script is not quite where we want it, we are extremely pleased with our screenwriter's creativity and gift for storytelling. We did not fret or freak out. We realize this is a drawn out process that must be covered in prayer! So back to the writing board she goes!


Screenwriters in Place - November 13, 2010

After the Carpenters' last visit in late September, prayers kicked in and the search began for a screenwriter to pen the script of Hannah's story. We know God wrote Hannah's journey of faith, but to find someone that shared our heart for the story, held the level of creativity and vision that it would take to get the story just right, was a daunting task. And God was gracious in leading Ken to just the right lady from Atlanta, GA whose name we will not disclose until the script is in place. Ken drove from Franklin to Chattanooga to meet with her and her husband on Saturday, November 13th. Their hearts were knit, and Ken felt very comfortable with the selection of the screenwriter.

On Friday, November 17th Ken and his five sons met the screenwriter and her husband in Spartanburg. Introductions were pleasant and conversation was easy. They interviewed Seth Buckley, Martin Tiller and Steve Corso, and then joined us for a Dorman High School football play-off game. They were able to experience the spirit and enormity of Dorman "University" and shared with Ken his excitement to film a few scenes on location, particularly Hannah being crowned Homecoming Queen. After the game we all joined the Sobeskis and the coaches for an After the Game party at the Sobeski home. It was a late night, but a much-needed time of getting acquainted with the hearts of those who would tell our Hannah's story in a large way.

The next morning they all spent several hours with Mickey and Debbie, hearing Hannah's story from her parents' hearts. Then Clay and I met them at Wade's Restaurant to allow them that hometown cooking experience, then on to First Baptist Spartanburg where they toured the sanctuary and the Hanger. Then we settled in for a relaxed meeting in Clay and my living room and spent hours validating the story they had heard and read so much about. After several cups of coffee, some laughter and tears, we shared hugs and said our goodbyes. And as both vehicles pulled away in route to their respective homes, Clay and I felt as though we were waving goodbye to family. We stood amazed at the godly bond with fellow believers in Christ. Wow, it was apparent once again that God is up to something big!

Reception #2 and Fun Visit September 17 - 25, 2010

Ken and his family returned to Spartanburg on Friday, September 17 and we held a more informative reception at The Chapman Cultural Center on Monday evening, September 20th. This visit was much more relaxed and it was apparent that our hearts had knit with the Carpenters. They attended the Dorman Homecoming game, Ken spoke at our home church, Cudd Memorial Baptist on Sunday evening, Uncle Clay took Ken and a couple of producers-in-training for a fun flight over Clemson University, I spent a day working lakeside with Ken and Cole, learning to tweet and re-tweet, and before they returned to Tennessee Ricky McAbee took the family on a boat ride they won't soon forget - or at least Ken won't! Ricky likes to ride on the edge of danger, and Ken found himself airborne on an intertube, and ended with a busted mouth to take home for souvenir. If asked to do it again, I'm afraid Ken AND Ricky would say, "Yes!"



Carpenters Return - August 28-September 2, 2010

Ken and the family returned to Spartanburg three weeks later, and I loaded his plate! They stayed at the McAbee's lakehouse on Lake Bowen and had a wonderful time enjoying the gorgeous weather. Ken wanted to interview some of Hannah's friends, mentors, etc. In three whirlwind days, Ken and Cole and/or Peyton interviewed the following individuals...

Mickey Sobeski

Seth Buckley, Minister of Youth at First Baptist Spartanburg

Dr. Steve Corso, Hannah's Oncologist

Dr. James Dunn, family friend and physician

Amy Wood, News Channel 7

Di Easler, Individual forever changed by Hannah's story but never met Hannah - now serving on HHM Prayer Committee

Jim Norris, family friend

Martin Tiller, Hannah's friend

Carolina Dutton, Hannah's friend

Business contacts made that week included Dr. Julian Josey and Ruth Sherlock

They attended a Dorman football game at Gaffney High. Ken also visited several area sites that were highlights in Hannah's life. Roebuck Elementary, Dorman High School, First Baptist Spartanburg, The Hanger at FBS, and the place where Hannah's earthly body was laid to rest. Ken left town carrying the weight of information overload but was deeply touched by the intimate details of Hannah's life that he gained from each individual.


The Carpenters come to Spartanburg - August 2, 2010

Ken Carpenter visited Spartanburg along with his beautiful wife, Devon, and their nine adorable children...

Cole, 18; Peyton, 16; Logan, 14; Bennett, 11; Claire, 9; Davis & Amelia Grace, 7; Owen, 4 and Eden, 1

The Carpenters fell in love with our small city nestled in the Upstate of South Carolina. I had the privilege of taking them on a tour, visiting important sites such as Dorman High School and First Baptist Spartanburg. Although Ken had already beat me to the draw on driving "downtown" as he and his family drove through on the evening they arrived, capturing a beautiful picture of First Baptist at night. We held a reception at the Gibbs Cancer Center where we introduced Ken and heard his heart on why Hannah's story is so compelling to him. Before sending them back to Tennessee, we treated them to Hannah's favorite restaurant, Wade's where they were served baskets of fried okra, Hannah's very favorite!


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