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Truth Is Stranger And More Exciting Than Fiction



"Gone With The Wind" is the classic. "Scarlett" is the follow-up to the classic. However, the original story had more than just a kernel of truth in it. There was a Rhett Butler, but his real name was Rhett Turnipseed. Scarlett O'Hara was Emelyn Louise Hannon. Yes, Rhett did walk out on her and join the Confederate Army. When the war was over, Rhett Turnipseed became a drifter and gambler. He ended up in Nashville where his life was turned around on Easter morning in 1871 when he attended a Methodist revival meeting and converted to the Christian faith. Soon after, he enrolled at Vanderbilt University and became a Methodist preacher. Reverend Rhett was worried about a young woman in his flock who had run away and was working in a house of prostitution in St. Louis. Rhett rode off to look for her and found her. Incredibly enough, the madam was his former love, Emelyn Louise Hannon - or Scarlett. She refused to let Rhett see the young woman, so Rhett challenged her to a game of cards. If he won, the young girl would be free; if Scarlett won, she would remain. Rhett won. Fortunately, the story ends well for everyone. The young girl married well and became the matriarch of a leading family in the state. Later, Emelyn, so impressed with the change in Rhett's life, also converted and joined the Methodist church, and eventually opened an orphanage for Cherokee children. She died in 1903. Her grave is marked to this day.

The message is two-fold. First, truth really is stranger than fiction and, second, yes, people can change. From gambler to preacher and from madam to operator of an orphanage for displaced children represent quite a change. So don't give up. You can change. Maybe if more of us did, we would all be AT THE TOP!


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A talented author and speaker, Zig Ziglar has an appeal that transcends barriers of age, culture, and occupation. Since 1970, he has traveled over five million miles across the world delivering powerful life improvement messages, cultivating the energy of change. Since 1970, an extensive array of Ziglar audio, video, books, and training manuals have been utilized by small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, U.S. Government agencies, churches, school districts, prisons, and non-profit associations, affecting lives in a profound way.
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