Monday, January 1, 2018

Me, Myself and I - Happy New Year 2018!


Background Actor for Pilot Episode of Me, Myself and I
Filmed in March 2017

Earlier this year, I appeared as a Background Actor in the pilot episode of the new CBS sitcom, Me, Myself and I. It's a comedy that examines one man's life over a 50-year span. Actor John Larroquette plays the main character as a 65-year old man in 2042. That got me to thinking about me, now in 2018, as opposed to me when I was in college in the 1980's and the me that was married for 25 years.


Leslie Smith


Me - When I graduated from college in 1984

As long as I can remember, I've always wanted to write. And dance. And do well in school. One year I wanted to be an astronaut and a few years later I wanted to be a Television News Anchor. I always participated in both school and community activities - Drill Team, Newspaper Staff, Student Council, Girl Scouts, 4-H Club, church youth group. I made good grades, graduated in the top 10% of my high school class and received an academic scholarship to Arkansas State University.

Once in college, I could see my future. I pledged Chi Omega Sorority, threw myself into my Journalism and Radio/Television classes and participated in other school activities while also working part-time. I interned in the news department for a local television station in Little Rock after my first year of college. This me was like a younger Mary in the Mary Tyler Moore Show, a want-to-be Carolyn Long (Channel 4 News Anchor) and wanting to pursue a job in writing or producing for either the Today Show in New York City or Oprah in Chicago.

I became the first person in my family to actually graduate from college in four years. I had the world at my feet. I was Leslie Smith. Oh, and there was another Leslie Smith in my Health class my first semester in college. She stopped coming to class before Thanksgiving but I never found out why.


Leslie Doan

Our Wedding Day - October 18, 1986
During the last semester of my last year in college, two good friends introduced me to a guy who had just moved to Arkansas from Kentucky and was working as an Anchor and Reporter at KAIT-TV, the ABC affiliate in Jonesboro. His name was Thruston Stewart Doan but had to go by his middle name, Stewart. My two friends were my classmates in my Radio/Television classes at ASU and worked with Stewart on the morning news program at KAIT - Channel 8. We started dating and I fell in love with the handsome man from Kentucky. He grew up on a farm but attended the University of Kentucky, taught me all about the UK Wildcats basketball team and also had dreams of working his way to a bigger market as an Agriculture Journalist.

After college and a brief job in Little Rock, I moved to Dallas, Texas to pursue my career. I quickly landed a job in the Recruiting and Advertising Department at Electronic Data Systems. Before I knew it, I was 23 years old and flying to different cities around the country, helping employees in accounts that were closing down to find new jobs in EDS. I continued dating Stewart long distance and before Christmas in 1985, we became engaged. By this time, Stewart was living in my hometown of Little Rock and working at KARN Radio Station as the main Farm Reporter. I moved back to Little Rock and we were married in a beautiful wedding ceremony at St. Andrews Methodist Church, complete with a wedding reception on a river boat in the Arkansas River on Saturday, October 18, 1986, ten days before my 25th birthday. I was now Leslie Doan.



Hawaii - January 2012

People don't lie when they say "time flies".  I worked at Dillard's and Stewart continued working at KARN. Withing a year, I was hired at the Little Rock office of EDS and we were DINKs (Double Income No Kids). We continued like that for seven years. Because Stewart traveled a lot in his job, I was able to go with him on many business trips - Kansas City, Orlando, Padre Island, and many others. Then we had two beautiful daughters - Lauren Grace born in 1993 and Sara Elizabeth born in 1997. There were jobs, and daycare, and vacations and promotions for Stewart, including serving as President of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB). In the middle of working full-time and having babies, I decided to go back to college and received a MA Degree in Technical and Expository Writing in 1996.

Real Life continues, including a cancer diagnosis in 2000 of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphona, when our daughters were only 7 and 3 years old. Excellent medical care and a strong support system along with Stewart and my family helped me during both chemotherapy and radiation treatment, resulting in receiving the news that I was in remission on May 17, 2001. So I had many titles - Wife, Technical Writer, Grad Student, Mother, Sunday School Teacher, Homeroom Mother, Cancer Patient, Survivor, Widow.


Leslie Dianne

Sara and I met actor Darren Criss at his recent concert in Los Angeles on December 15, 2017

So now, here it is, January 1, 2018. My husband passed away suddenly over five years ago from an undiagnosed Pulmonary Embolism. According to the US Government, I am now a widow. But I am still more than that. I continued to support and raise our two daughters, who were only 19 and 15 when their father passed away. You never know what you can do until you have to do it. I don't like the title "Single Mom", I was a widow with children. I continued to work as a Technical Writer 30 hours a week, be both a mother and father to my two daughters, and manage a home. Luckily, I have so many family members, neighbors, church members, co-workers and friends that helped me and the girls following my husband's death. Friends who brought food, mowed our big lawn, helped me with taxes and financial issues, drove me to medical appointments, assisted me with selling my house and always just being there for us.

During these past five years, I've had many new titles - Retired, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year Nominee, USC Summer Program Student, Blogger, Background Actor.

2018 is looking pretty good so far.




Leslie Smith Doan, a native Arkansan, is a retired Technical Writer and active blogger. She enjoys traveling and attending special events with her two daughters, ages 24 & 20. A long time TV and Movie Fan, she has also appeared as a Background Actor on the television showsScandalAmerican Housewife, the pilot episode of Young Sheldon and the movie God's Not Dead 2, filmed in Arkansas.

Leslie lives in Little Rock with her two rescue pets, Oreo, a black & white Australian Shepherd and Lilly, a calico kitty. 

She blogs about her personal experiences as both a cancer survivor and widow along with movie reviews and humorous essays in her blog Leslie In Little Rock. You can also find Leslie online on her TwitterInstagram, and Facebook accounts.



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