As you can imagine, there was never a dull moment growing up in the Pope house. Like typical siblings, Lori, Crystal, and I would fight and break things – then, fight over who broke it. Through it all, my mother, Terry Pope, was always there to make sure we knew right from wrong. (And that we never embarrassed her in public.)

I remember the first time our parents were brave enough to take all three of us to a nice dinner. We went to a restaurant called Slugs. (I know that doesn’t sound too appetizing but, at the time, this was one of the nicer restaurants in Charlotte.) Before we left for dinner, our parents told the three of us that we needed to be on our best behavior; and there would be no fighting. Of course, we fought the entire way to the restaurant. But, once we got there, we knew enough to know that this was a special experience; we needed to get our acts together and behave in a civilized manner.

As the hostess sat us, I remember seeing what looked like a single scoop of vanilla ice cream sitting in a white bowl on the table. I knew we couldn’t fight – but, seriously – who was going to get this single scoop of vanilla ice cream? I could see my mom look at all three of us with a sly look as we eyed what looked like ice cream. She told us we might not want to eat that. So, of course, the first thing I did was take a big spoonful and put it right into my mouth without hesitation. After about three seconds, I realized Mom’s warning was right. This wasn’t vanilla ice cream. This was butter.

Through her laughter, she reiterated to us two lessons – first, learn from our mistakes. And most importantly – listen to your mother.

I have made my share of mistakes through my years here at Studio Displays. Just like that unforgettable scoop of butter, I have learned from those mistakes. And I’ve grown better for it.

Mom taught me that lesson – among so many others. Lessons like don’t be hard on yourself. And, of course, Mom is always right.

Happy Mother’s Day.

-Thomas Pope

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