My First Toastmasters Speech

The first of November we started trying to organize a Toastmaster group here in Henderson KY. I have nothing but praise to say about this organization and those that are working to get Henderson KY Toastmasters a fully chartered chapter.

Thank you Louann Clark for all your efforts in getting this club going in our community.  We need 20 members to charter and we are very close to that goal.

I volunteered on November 28, 2012 to give my ice breaker speech. In Toastmasters, the Ice Breaker speech is usually the first one people do, and it is one where you talk about yourself and your life.

If you know me well, you know that I love Dolly Parton- so my speech was about her but really not- it was about me!

“The Day I Met Dolly Parton”

1stToastmastersSpeech-2012-11-28It was spring of 1986 and the opening weekend of Dollywood – my senior year at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond Kentucky.   I had earlier attended and graduated from our Henderson Community College with an associate of arts degree in 1984 and prior to that a 1982 alumni Henderson County Senior High. Ok so you don’t have to do the math, I am 48 years old.

That spring weekend in April of 1986 was a beautiful weekend.  It was the weekend before the last finals of my college career.

I arrived in Pigeon Forge TN early that Friday afternoon to grab a good spot to see Dolly, who was giving a benefit concert that evening.  I did manage to study some and I found myself shoving my books under the seat just moments before she came on the stage.

Well, in case you haven’t figured it out yet –I have a lifelong admiration for the superstar Dolly Parton.   I like her not only because of who she is or her music but how she handles herself and shows genuine kindness.  Like one of her quotes say-  she has a brain under that blonde wig and a heart under those boobs!

I have met Dolly several times over the years and always am taken by her gentleness and her quick wit.

When it came my turn to greet her one time at a benefactor luncheon, she saw my name tag and asked, “Where did you get a name like Nibby?”  I knew she didn’t have a long time, and I offered her a quick response, and since Dolly wanted to know I will share it with you all as well.

My parents Norris and Mary Elizabeth Priest were married in August of 1958 at the First Baptist Church –the same one I am proud to say that I was raised in.

They moved to an apartment in the 300 block of N Main St. They were quickly told of the McLaughlin spinster sisters that lived next door and that they were sometimes cranky and hard to get along with.

That didn’t bother my parents.

They heard  that one of the sister’s Miss Elizabeth was having a birthday. My mother as a young bride baked Miss Elizabeth a birthday cake.  The rest was history.  My parents quickly became the best of friends to the old maid sisters.  Miss Elizabeth died shortly after that and left Miss Mable.  Later, my mother became pregnant with me.  Miss Mable was so excited.  Her middle name was Nisbet and my parents gave me her middle name.  She before I was born shorten the name to just plain Nibby.  Over the years the name like my personality has been unusual and memorable.  Even Dolly thought it was unusual.

In 1988 personal computers were the rage. I had the Computery a personal and business computer store here in our downtown.  Many Henderson people had their first encounter with PC’s  through that store. I taught over 2000 people from 1986 to 1994 how to use such software as WordPrefect  and Lotus 1-2-3 at HCC.

My interests are quite varied.  The past few years I have been doing a lot of work with social media.  Twitter is my favorite.  Through social media, I have met a lot of nice people and one of them is with us here today,  Becky Durham.  Social media has taught me to think some before I speak.  Though social media I have become more aware of our community Henderson, and all that it has to offer.  I have become a community advocate and voice for all things Henderson and of the downtown area.

I really enjoy bicycles and enjoy riding every chance I get.   I am a bicycle to work commuter– I know I just have less than two-tenths of a mile commute if that.

I enjoy food and good cooking.  The past two years I have participated in the areas only CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).

I built a unique home on the downtown river front in 2004. Downtown living is the best, I feel  that in the next few years, there is going to be huge movement to downtown communities from subdivision dwellers.

My faith community means a lot to me.  I am staff organist and member of Community Baptist Church.  I have had an organ playing job in various churches for over 28 years.

I sell insurance- auto homeowners business life and health.  I work in my family insurance agency Vaughn Insurance.   My college degree from Eastern Kentucky University is in Insurance.

My family also owns the L&N Bed and Breakfast. Both businesses are on North Main Street.

I have been involved in numerous organizations in Henderson.  OVAL, DHP, Chamber, Friends of the Library. In 2007 my family and I were awarded the Heart of Downtown Award from Downtown Henderson Partnership.

My biggest goal right now is to strategic plan for the insurance agency’s future and to encourage young professionals that Henderson Kentucky is a  place to put down your roots and stay.

A question that Dolly Parton gets often is “What do you want people to say about you 100 years from now?”  in her countrified voice, she quips “’dang, doesn’t she look good for her age?”   I don’t know if I want to “look good at 100” but I sure do hope Henderson Kentucky does.


  1. Lacey says

    Nibby, Henderson would never have grown into the town it is without you. Thank you for being the caretaker and guardian of my hometown. Dolly Parton had a song Titled “Coat of Many Colors” that as a little girl meant the world to me. Also, “I Will Always Love You” was played at my Mom’s funeral years ago! Again, thank you for being YOU! Sincerely, Lacey

  2. LouAnn Clark says

    Nibby, You are a Renaissance man, and we are lucky to have you as an advocate for Henderson. Beneath your fashionable tie beats the heart of a generous giver. I am proud to be your friend and fellow Toastmaster. Congratulations again on a winning Icebreaker.

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