The people we meet!!

My name is Tyson and a BIG part for me when I travel and partake in new experiences is meeting the people along the way. People from different places with different life experiences, thoughts, beliefs, cultures, etc. This page "showcases" people I have met that have broadened my horizon in some way, taught me something new, changed my perspective somehow, or I just find interesting because they have a great story to tell.  We will not always agree with, or understand, every new person or culture we encounter, but my goal when meeting these people is to find some common ground and appreciation for them and their background. Maybe some people we meet would even be considered "controversial" back "home." People that I have met and spent quality time with range from the most "conservative" to the most "liberal", all ages, races/ethnicities, sexual orientations, the most "devout" to the most "atheist", "wealthy" to "poor", various occupations, etc etc.  I have learned something from them all and many of them I would consider friends. We both share our stories, openly and honestly, to help each other gain a taste of the other's point of view. A change of perspective comes when we go beyond our comfort zone and attempt to learn/see things differently by experiencing another person's reality as much as is possible. All of this has been most valuable in learning about myself and the role I play in the world. So I welcome you here to "meet" some of the people out in the world, and partake in the conversation! :) I like to think of a Mark Twain quote from his book The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It where he says "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." But that may be just me :) HAVE FUN
PS Please contact us if there is anyone you feel should be showcased as well!!! We all have something to learn and something to share!!!

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of this company or its affiliated companies.


MISS J-Fashion Runway Coach

I met Miss J in 2005 when I first worked on America's Next Top Model. I might have been wearing a choker made from coyote bones, purple glasses, and either a green jumpsuit, cross color jeans, or a kilt. Oh and I might have had a mohawk too. Who only knows what fashion faux pas I was committing then. hahaha Well after many years of working on ANTM and working with Miss J, we have become pretty great friends. I think one major turning point was when I was backpacking across Europe in 2006. I was at a campsite outside of Paris when a wild thunderstorm flooded out my tent. Almost all of my stuff was soaked, including some of my important travel documents. I actually slept that night in the luggage compartment of a bus. I knew Miss J lived in Paris, so I reached out the next morning hoping that he might remember me and be able to help somehow. Luckily J was in Paris at that time! He told me to pack all my stuff and come into the city to meet him. I loaded up my drenched belongings and took the 45 minute ride into Paris. J helped me get all my clothes washed at a local laundry, allowed me to dry my important documents at his place, walked me 

around the city as my tour guide (and it is hard to keep up with a 6' 4" fashion runway coach hahaha), and even made dinner. He really helped me when I needed it most and asked for nothing in return. That is what friends do for each other. Since then, Miss J has grown to be one of my closest friends. He is even helping me decorate my house hahaha. His story of growing up as 1 of 10 kids in the Bronx to becoming a major player in the world's fashion scene is truly outstanding and inspiring. He told me that he would work in department stores in NYC until he saved enough to go to Paris. He would then stay there as long as he could afford to, then come home and do it again. All the while working and meeting people in the fashion industry and making a name for himself. He was not afraid of the hard work and sacrifice needed for him to reach his goals and follow his passion. When I asked if he would allow me to showcase him for Patched Overalls, he said he would only do it if he could wear my overalls. SO of course, I said YES!! hahaha Thank you Miss J for this and for your continued friendship and support. To learn more about Miss J's remarkable journey, check out his book "Follow the Model: Miss J's Guide to Unleashing Presence, Poise, and Power." Or visit his official website at

Posted October 2015.

The first time I saw Mr Ditch was performing in high school show choir and he did the splits; I thought this guy is a star :) I have since gotten a chance to learn more about this young man and one of the main things I really appreciate about Daniel is he owns who he is. He has passions and he follows through on them. He has studied some of those passions on his own and really taken them in. For example, one day when I was visiting the school, Daniel was talking about places he visited in NYC, while looking into potential colleges. He told me all about people and places related to fashion like where Vogue is based and who runs it. Then he went on to show me different runway walks. Brilliant!!! You could tell he had done his homework on these topics.  I believe Mr Ditch has an amazing curiosity about the world that has lead him to pursue opportunities that have even taken him all the way to Japan.  The rewards of his fantastic willingness to put himself out there and try, could best be illustrated by the story he told me about earning a full ride scholarship to Saint Louis University. He told me he wasn't sure if he even had a chance for the scholarship but he applied anyway, and now he will be attending a major university

DANIEL DITCH-College Student

tuition free. So, I imagine Daniel achieving many goals because he has already shown he can dedicate himself to following through and he isn't afraid of hard work or going outside his comfort zone. And while I know recognition for accomplishments is awesome, I really believe Daniel Ditch is more focused on the learning he will gain during his journey to whatever version of success he has defined for himself. Please take 2 minutes to watch the video and learn a little more about Daniel. Thank you Daniel for sharing with us and we wish you the best as you begin your next chapter at St. Louis University.

Posted Septmeber 2015.

During our lives we cross many paths. We are not always certain where our choices will take us and who will enter our lives. That being said, I want to start showcasing some of the amazing people that have crossed my path. I think it is important to acknowledge people that have made an impact on our lives or inspire us somehow. It could be family, friends, co workers, a total stranger, etc etc. Anyone!! And I believe everyone has a story.
I would like to start by showcasing Ryron Gracie. I have never really considered myself to be very aggressive. I actually tell most people that "I'm a delicate flower." ;) So the idea of going to a martial arts class of any sort was just not on my radar. On a whim, and at the urging of a good friend and his girlfriend, I chose to go to a class at the Gracie Academy in Beverly Hills, CA. I opted out of doing the class because I was a little scared. So I only watched. At the end of class, Ryron Gracie, the head instructor, had me get on the mat anyway. He showed me a quick move and explained a small part of the jiu jitsu philosophy. He said "Jiu jitsu is for the lovers. Not the fighters." hahaha Brilliant!!
Not knowing anything about this world, I had no idea who this man really was or the legacy and reputation of his family. I decided to take more classes (At first it was in hopes of trying to impress a beautiful woman. Really isn't that why most men do things? hahaha) But the more classes I took, I found myself caring less and less about impressing someone. I was learning about Ryron and all the great people at the academy. I was learning about the history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the epically huge impact the Gracie family has had in the world. My favorite thing so far is the Gracie Bullyproof program. Ryron is one of the co-creators of this program, along with his brother Rener, utilizing the techniques their family has been developing for nearly 100 yrs starting with their grandfather Helio Gracie (the creator of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu).

RYRON GRACIE-Teacher of Gracie Jiu Jitsu

Not only is Ryron a great instructor and motivator in class, but he and his family are really passionate about giving back to the community. I was once told "Find what you love to do, become the best at it, and then use it to help people." I believe what I have found here is a perfect example of that. All of the instructors and fellow students I have encountered at the Gracie Academy in Beverly Hills, CA have been so welcoming. They have been patient with this "delicate flower" which I appreciate. Thank you to Ryron and all the folks there.  For more information about the Gracie Bullyproof program please check out their website. Posted September 2014.

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