Talking about difficult topics doesn't have to be as bad as we think.
From politics, religion, COVID talk, and more, it seems having some difficult conversations is more difficult than ever.
Does it have to be that way?
Corey Nathan says that talking about difficult topics doesn't have to be as bad as we think.
Joining us today on the program, Corey shares how we can be better prepared to engage in those sometimes difficult to have conversations, and thus giving us a chance to redeem some relationships along the way.
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Brian Nichols 0:00
faced with an uncertain future many business owners and technology professionals don't have time needed to invest in their business technology strategies and as a result are afraid of their technology getting outdated and putting their company and customers information at risk. The digital future is already here. But with all different choices in the marketplace, it's difficult to know which one will be the best fit for you and your strategic vision. Imagine having the peace of mind that your business is backed by the right technology investments that are tailored for your specific needs. Hi, I'm Brian Nichols and I've helped countless business owners and technology professionals just like you helping you make informed decisions about what technologies are best to invest in for your business. Voice bandwidth, cybersecurity, business continuity, juggling all the aspects of business technology is messy. Let me help at the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash help and sign up for a free one on one consultation with yours truly to dig deep into where you see your company headed and how we can align your business technology towards those goals. Again, that's the Brian Nichols show.com forward slash ELP. To get your simplified business technology started today, instead of focusing on winning arguments, we're teaching the basic fundamentals of sales and marketing and how we can use them to win in the world of politics, teaching you how to meet people where they're at on the issues they care about. Welcome to The Brian Nichols Show. Well, Happy Wednesday there, folks, Brian Nichols here on The Brian Nichols Show. And thank you for joining us, of course, another fun filled episode. I am as always your humble host. And today, we're gonna go back to a conversation we've been having. And it's been kind of reading through a lot of the different guests we've had in the program. And today we're gonna be talking about how can we go back and maybe have some conversations with people who we've had some fights with or had some schisms with, and we're going to hopefully restore the ability to have real conversations today. Cory Nathan is joining the program. Corey, welcome to The Brian Nichols Show.
Brian Nichols. How you doing man? Greg? Glad to be with you.
Brian Nichols 1:52
Thank you so much, Corey, great to have you in great to have you on to discuss, yes, this very important topic, being able to go back and maybe reengage in a civil conversation civil dialogue with some people that let's be real. We've had some fractured relationships over the past few years, especially as tensions have gotten so high not only in the political world, but also in an era of COVID. And you have an awesome podcast talking politics without killing each other. Let's go in first and foremost disgust. What an awesome name for a show. But what a great concept for right now where there's such a need in the marketplace. Number one Corey, introduce yourself to the audience. Number two, let's go into what got us into talking about this this program.
Corey Nathan 2:37
Sure thing Yeah, talking politics and religion. That's right. No, I have, you know, I must be a masochist of some sort. We're talking politics and religion, all the stuff you're not supposed to talk about. But I am I, I started out in business world I got my series seven series 63 to be a stockbroker, actually, in your old stomping grounds. I had some clients in Philly, and Jersey, New York. But I was doing that during the day. And I was going to a theater conservatory at night. So I've always had this combination of business and the arts. And then over the years, I've started a number of businesses, nonprofits, ministries, and just have been I've used my creativity to build businesses, or to help other creative businesses. And you know, I heard my first podcast I want to say about three or four years ago, and the very first episode of any podcast ever listened to I forgot what it was at this point, it might have been Rogan, it might have been Marin might have been any number of the, you know, huge podcasts that somebody pointed me towards, but I fell in love with the medium right out of the gate. And as someone who I've produced theater and some independent film over the years, I fell in love with the medium right out right away and decided this is something that stories can be told. This is a medium within which conversations really interesting conversations among good people, interesting people can engage in goodwill and in good faith. So a lot of the worlds that I straddle, whether it's from my religious background, I grew up as an observant Jew, my my family was going to an orthodox synagogue, but I became a Christian in my late 20s. So I had to, when I when that happened, I had to learn how to have conversations about challenging topics, things that people take very seriously. And in my, in my business endeavors, I have people who are in the arts, and people who are at my church, and you know, a lot of the folks their default posture on social issues, political issues, can be very, very different. But being able to engage in a healthy way, and being able to engage in such a way where you're not fracturing the relationship while you're talking about these topics where there might be great disagreement. And that's really what ultimately led to me starting the podcast, talking politics and really without killing each other.
Brian Nichols 5:02
I'm just nodding my head right now almost in agreement without realizing because I think all of us, you know, we're listening to you there can at least think of one person and the past. And let's just keep the confines because it is about the two year anniversary here of 15 days to slow the spread. So we're seeing right now that over the past two years, we've all probably had someone who has either told you if you're in the Liberty world, you're a COVID denier, you want people to die, you just want to kill grandma, trust the experts trust the science, you're not an epidemiologist, I mean, I've heard it all. And the the, the easy way to go about that is to just turn off to write those people out and say, Hey, I'm not engaging in a conversation with you. And frankly, I've actually, I will confess, in some of my episodes, I've focused on who's our target market and overtly avoiding the people who are not actively in that target market. But to your point, just because they're not in our target market right now, doesn't mean that they might not be our target market in the future. And it's important, especially if they are people that we built relationships with on shared experiences, shared values, to maybe try and rekindle some of the the relationship and earn some of that trust back. So I think you're addressing a very real problem right now. And Cory, let me ask you, you know, two years of this, what's been the feedback? Have people been saying, yes, we need this conversation to be taking place. And thank God we have you Cory leading it, or have people been pushing back and saying, No, Cory, we need to keep fighting make make leftist tears cups and make the you know, was it own the libs?
Yeah. Oh, yeah. There's certainly no shortage of loud voices who are ready to mischaracterize generalize and demonize folks that they don't agree with. And it could be someone, you know, to your point who feels very passionately about any number of issues, whether it's vaccines and masks, or other political issues, abortion and pro life versus pro choice, or, you know, what's happening in Ukraine, or just whatever the issue is of the day, all I know is I hate those those people, I hate them. And whatever they're for I'm against, and whenever I'm for their, you know, just thinking of it that way is just so destructive, counterproductive. It doesn't allow one to be an independent thinker on any given issue. And even on a particular issue. I mean, take vaccines, for example. You know, I came to certain conclusions, and as a business owner have certain convictions, and it's, I'm not pro vaccine or anti vaccine, but in certain situations, I am pro freedom of choice. In a way I'm pro making one's own decision, I'm in favor of informed consent. So if someone you know, there was there was a law several years ago in California, that was basically mandating vaccines, I was very much against the law, not because I'm anti vaccine. But because you didn't have any choice, you didn't have any say in the matter. It had to do with kids going to school, going to public schools, you didn't have any say in the matter you did. There wasn't like the vaccines this time around, I was less averse to it, because there were several different vaccines to choose from. And a lot of the mandates had options were okay, you don't want to get the vaccine. So you get tested on a weekly basis, that sort of thing. That was a little bit more my speed where you have options in terms of Merck versus Johnson and Johnson, whereas the one in California several years ago, it was this whole like, bag of, or it was a diverse portfolio of vaccines, all of which you had to take, none of which you had any options in terms of, you know, the manufacturers or opting out of one it was the whole deal or nothing at all. And so even even on an issue, like like vaccines, it's much more nuanced or take it a step further, you know, a, as far as small business owners, I was, I am in favor of small business owners saying, you know, what, people who work for my company needs to get vaccinated, because it's their business. And and, you know, if they lose, and they have to face the consequences of their own decision, exactly. They might lose some of their best employees, if they take that stance, that we Kyrie Irving is opting out of of next games right now, Brooklyn Nets games right now. And he's also willing to suffer his consequences for making his choice. So it's, I find it to be a nuanced issue, where I would be against the law in Florida, for example, where the governor said, No, you private business, you are not allowed to do this. I was against him imposing himself that way, because that's not really that's not a libertarian, if you will, that he's imposing his will and His dictate on private business owners on decisions. They should be able to make for their own business. So I don't know all that to say even on an issue like vaccines, and you probably disagree with some of the positions that I've taken. But it's, it's, we probably find a lot of agreement within that, within that discussion, because it's really an every issue was that way, there are multiple dimensions within that. So the larger issue, I think, is how do we talk to each other about it? How do we, how do we not oversimplify one's position? How do we not make an enemy or turn somebody into? He's my adversary, she's my advert. They're my adversary hits. That's another one pronouns. How do we do that, and I think part of it, part of it is admitting and owning up to the fact that sometimes I might be wrong. So that's, that's one, sometimes I might be on the wrong side of this thing. And, and reckoning with that, and owning up to it. So for I'll give you an example. Or maybe we're wrong, maybe we may or may not be wrong about the issue, but we've gone about the engaging with people in the wrong way. For example, one of my kids, he's 18, decided not to get the vaccine. And as I just mentioned, I, I was in favor of it, I ended up getting the Johnson and Johnson and, you know,
but anyway, when it first came out, I felt very strongly that the kid should get the vaccine, he didn't feel that way. At that time, his position was, was that, well, I don't want to be a science experiment. So let me wait and see. But during that time, when he was waiting, and seeing what happened was, a lot of folks got really, as I'm sure, you know, a lot of folks that really hostile with him, you know, made him feel stupid, made them feel irresponsible, made him feel bad, because he was at least waiting and seeing, you know, and trying to make up his mind in his own time. And frankly, I was one of those people that got into a conflict and didn't go about it the right way. And that wasn't, that wasn't the best way to go about it. I, over time, I decided, I simply wanted to stay in a conversation with the kid and respect him as a young adult, his decision, respect that I raised a good person with who can think for himself who has principles and ethics and morals and, you know, can come to his own decisions, which sometimes are not in agreement with with my own. So I let it lie, I felt like because I participated in the dog pile on the rabbit, I lost, I lost the privilege of engaging with him, and I just let it lie. And then finally I said, Listen, if you want to talk about it, let's talk about it. We disagree about it. But you know, maybe we can learn from each other on the issue. And it wasn't until, you know, several months later that we could even talk about it. But at the end of the day, I thought having a relationship with my son and being able to have conversations with my son was more important even than this even on issues of health, or, you know, in this case, vaccines. So that was one way of redeeming a relationship, redeeming a conversation by owning up to the fact that I went about it the wrong way. And at the end of the day, may turn out to be that I was wrong on the issue in the first place. So one way or the other. We're all human, we're imperfect. Sometimes we come to a wrong conclusion, or sometimes we, you know, try to persuade folks on a conclusion, even if we're right about it in the wrong way. So owning reckoning with all that, I think is a good start to redeeming some of those relationships and being able to have some of those conversations.
Brian Nichols 13:37
Mm hmm. Yeah. Oh, and I'm, I was smiling as you're telling that story. Because I had something very similar only it was with my father in law, who is a nurse, he works on the cardiac floor in the the hospital, and he actually got pushed to the ER when they were having a lot of COVID influx cases. And I think it was around December or so right? When the end of the Delta surge and Omicron was starting to creep up. He really just pushed like, Brian, you got to get Vax. And I just I said, I don't, I'm not going to I think I've made the decision. I've looked at the data. I'm not in a high risk category. And as a matter of fact, I'm actually in a much lower risk category than allow other people that should be getting Vax, that I know that weren't, and the fact that you know, I was I felt almost being targeted right. And to your point, your son probably almost felt like Dad, come on, let me make this decision. And you are giving him another chance to tell his side of the story and I think that's where a lot of people and you start to mention it, you know, the the feeling of you're doing bad, you're you're you're you should be shamed for not just jumping on board with this. And a lot of people got defensive to the extent that they just shut down. And I'll be completely honest, there have been people that I just I haven't engaged with because I know that they were not even in the they weren't even the ability to have a conversation, let alone wanting to engage in dialogue. So I know for me it's been very difficult because cuz I know it's a very topical and sensitive issue. So let's maybe just expand upon that a little bit more Corey, because I think this is a very real thing that people can look at right now and say like, yeah, I see me or I see a similar situation where I know somebody who they either were having this conversation about the vaccine, or they themselves were a part of the conversation. So what how did that conversation go? When you're talking with your son, and you gave each other that opportunity for redemption? What does that look like? How can somebody when they're and let's use this example here? How can somebody use this as a means to learn of how to install redemption into their routines when engaging in conversations people, frankly, that they may disagree with?
That's a great question. So when I did circle back around with Jackie boy about it, my son, I remembered the three magic words helped me understand, you know, I came to an even stronger conviction than I did about the vaccine. And that was this relate, like I said before this relationship and and being able to have conversations is more important than pretty much any particular issue. So I felt like because I went about it in the wrong way, I lost the privilege to try to persuade him on the issue. So instead, when we circle back around to it, I said, Jackie boy, helped me understand where we come from, I don't agree with your point of view, but maybe I can learn from it helped me understand where you're coming from. And that's when I understood like, why, at one point, he was open minded about it, but then after a while, and this may be not the best reaction, most mature reaction, he said, you know, everybody was treating me like a dumbass. Excuse me, but everybody was just treating him like crap. And and it just made him not want to do it. He said, Now now, I'm definitely not going to do it. Yep. So again, it's you can end up doing more harm than good. I mean, you're you're, you're you train salespeople, you know, the art of persuasion. You know, if you're beating somebody over the head with the thing that you want to sell to them, that's not a really effective strategy of persuasion. So yeah,
Brian Nichols 17:08
well, and also forcing them to buy your product, or fear for threat of being fired to that doesn't usually get them to, to jump up and down and fouzia plastically to say yes to your product. But I mean, I mean, interrupt, Cory, but I did have a question. And, and I think, because you said those magic words, I actually use that exact phrase, my taught my sales team helped me understand if there's something that you need to get deeper context, when you're trying to go through the sales process that will show you where maybe you're missing something, and it helps you learn along the way. So I think maybe one thing, people on the other side of where Jack Jackie boy, right was was coming from, and frankly, where I've had a lot of these conversations was, I was in the position of when COVID started, everybody pretty much knew that we didn't know what we didn't know. But we needed to see the data first. And I mean, Ron DeSantis, I'd say of all the governors did that the most effectively at the onset, he said, Hold on, and we're gonna see the data before we just, you know, go shutting down society. And what we found was it ended up being mostly older people who were higher risk or more morbidly obese people who are also higher risk that were ultimately getting taken down by this thing. And, and with that, we were able to formulate it, you know, you can see in real time if you go back into the archives back in March of 2020, and fast forward to today, the evolution of the thinking, but it's all been based on, what do we know now? And has that changed from where we were before? And to be able to have the the thought process articulated of how we got to where we are, whereas when you would engage in the conversation with somebody who was pushing the vaccine or pushing the mandates? There was no, there was no thought to it, it felt a lot of it was an appeal to authority. We don't know anything about that. So we get the trust the people who do okay, well, can you show me what they're looking at? So I can feel I can trust it? Well, no, we're gonna keep all that stuff hidden for 75 years. Why? And that right there, I think has turned off a lot of people from if we will go back to the sales analogy, engaging in the sales process. So I say all that because I think what a lot of people would love to hear is, Well, Cory in this, in this example, what did you learn from your son? What did Jackie teach you as you were going through in this road to redemption? And did you find yourself maybe moving from a position that you really held strong at the onset and maybe getting a little bit more on his side?
It was mostly just an approach. I mean, you're describing what happens all too frequently in conversations like these. So the the greatest conviction I walked away from is how we engage in these conversations is really important. And it takes a lot of discipline, a lot of focus a lot of independent thinking, frankly, to, to say okay to enter into it and good goodwill and in good faith. Yes. A couple of phrases that I used earlier on, you know, because we're, a lot of us tend to listen to media, podcasts, TV shows, what have you, that reinforce a priori positions, positions that we've or preferences that we've already arrived at prior to even entering into an investigation prior to entering into a conversation. So the greatest conviction from what I learned from Jack was, you know, put your dukes down, man, like, you're not theologically I have two convictions that no one can ever shake me of one, there is a God to I ain't God, you know. So being being such not God. But you know, an imperfect creature, I believe that I could be wrong on this stuff. So if I enter into it with a conviction that I am absolutely right, and you're absolutely wrong, we're, we're probably not going to get any work done. That's the biggest conviction that I but I think you're asking me of something else. I, I just, I think it opened up the possibility and I was thinking this before, but, you know, I really considered the possibility of being able to make decisions for oneself, even within the context of a family, and, and a community that, that maybe that has certain it affect your decisions affect other people around you. But we got to figure out how to live together, especially when we disagree about it, you know, so Jack, if Jack was willing to accept certain consequences for his decision, I gotta respect that. For example, we were going to A, we were going away on vacation, going to see my my three other best friends, their whole families, everybody in the entire thing. It was 19 of us total. Everybody was vaccinated except for Jack. So I was afraid that the guys would say, Yeah, Jack can't come. But to their credit there, they said, well, as long as Jack's want to get a test, and you know, come up with a negative test within a day yourself, when we arrived, it's all good. So I thought that that was a good. I thought that that was a good negotiation, if you will, everybody was willing to give a little bit. Jack was willing to submit to a test, they were willing to let a guy who's on vaccinated, join the party. And we could figure out, we can figure this all out, right. But it's just, again, entering into a conversation, a dialogue, in goodwill and in good faith and not assuming that a person who arrives at a different conclusion than you do is a bad person. So those were really the deepest convictions about what I learned.
Brian Nichols 22:39
It's it's tough, because we, we we've all felt it over the past few years, the intensity, the conversations, they have, in many cases been focused on making the people who didn't toe the line feel bad. And I think right there, that's that's the difference is that you're you're going at it through the lens that you might be wrong, versus others who are going through the lens that they can't be wrong. And that right there speaks to how important it is when you're trying to engage in conversations that if you go in with the utmost certainty, and you don't open any opportunity, there's no door there for you to have the opportunity to be wrong, right. And that right there. I actually did an episode a few weeks ago, or actually a few months ago, now I'm thinking back to it, man COVID, time is crazy. It was the gifting the opportunity of being wrong. And that is so important in society in sales, in conversations that are very difficult in I've seen this, you know, I never will guarantee or promise anything to a customer that I'm not certain of, I want to have my solutions engineer on the call because he's the the brains of the text behind the stuff that I'm bringing to the table is helping the you know, the solutions that are solving people's problems. So why would I guarantee that I'm absolutely right only to have maybe my se say, Oh, actually, we can't do that. Or that, you know, it's not even something in the realm of possibility. Now I have egg on my face. And it's hard to engage in that conversation because instantly your credibility shot. And that right there, thank you for creating an environment now where we're engaging in more dialogue versus engaging in debate. And that's so desperately needed right now, Cory and I know we're already getting hard pressed to time. So here's what I want to do as we go towards the tail end of the conversation. I really want to give you a platform here for final thoughts and words of wisdom for the audience. If there's anything you'd want take from today's episode and wrap a nice bow on it, please do so. And also, obviously, as we go towards into conversation, we want people to be able to subscribe to this awesome podcast. Yes, talking politics and religion without killing each other. Where can we go ahead and do that? Cory? The floor is yours.
That's awesome. I appreciate that. So talking politics and religion is on all the major apps, and there's an apostrophe after the end and talking and, and killing. There's no G in those. So that's how you can look forward but it's Really easy to find as politics and religion.us to politics and religion.us as our site, or TP and our pod on all the different. We're on Tik Tok now, so I must be either cool or just a really bad want to be TP and our pod. But what I'd love to leave folks with is, and it's something that you've talked about on your program, Brian quite a bit, is remember, the folks that you're talking to are actually human beings. They're three dimensional human beings with complex ideas about different issues. And our tendency often, or at least the loudest voices in a lot of these conversations is often to learn one data point about a person, and then let the dominoes fall about all the other assumptions that we're making about them. You know, for example, if I wasn't as if I'm not as concerned, as someone else about election, you know, that there was election fraud and the election was stolen. If that's not my issue, that person might then make all kinds of other assumptions about how I feel about the environment, and how I feel about vaccines and how I feel about any number of hot button issues. But if we remember each other's humanity, and everybody, you know, maybe doesn't even care about some of the issues that you care about. And when we engage with them as human to human, I think that a lot of good work can be done. And frankly, I also believe that the loudest voices in the room do not make up the majority. A lot of these most extreme voices and positions do not represent the rest of us, there is a silent or a quieted majority of folks that really do want to engage better with folks that they agree with, and then find some folks that they disagree with on particular issues, because I believe even within those issues, there are points of agreement, you know, so I could go, I could go a lot deeper. But I see we're running up on time. But that's, that's the spirit of it. That's what we're trying to do.
Brian Nichols 26:57
Yeah. And I think it's important to as we wrap things up, Cory, it's a separate, it's, we're not selling in this world, right. So in this world, folks, like, hit the pause button on sales, this is talking about a real authentic relationship with somebody. And building beyond a particular issue beyond a particular solution, whatever it may be, this is something that we need also need to foster because we talked about becoming the trusted advisor, right? People like the authenticity, they want to know the real you. But that also means learning the areas where you might disagree in and actually, if you can come to agreement on the disagreements, I think you're going to find that you might actually have strong relationships. And actually, I'll leave us with a story Korea is a true story. It's funny how just happened this way. One of my best, most just loyal customers I've had now for going on four and a half years in the telco world, which, for anybody who works in cybersecurity, business continuity, voice and bandwidth solutions, you know that it's a very, very cutthroat world. And yet this one prospect, not only has been working with me one on one consistently, but we have built a very strong relationship. And it's funny, we've had conversations where he's looked at me in the eye and said, I disagree with about 95% of your politics, but I really appreciate that you explain why you believe them and you're consistent and you're not just floating in the wind with an idea based on who's saying at that time. And he and I, you know, despite the differences in politics, we have that great relationship. And I think that right there, Cory is exactly something we can all take away from today's episode. And yes, focus on building those strong real authentic relationships. So folks, if you enjoyed the episode today and you find you got some valuable please do us a solid go ahead and give it a share. And when you do, please go ahead and tag it yours truly at a B Nichols liberty but with that being said, Folks, if you want to learn more about Cory Nathan and his amazing podcast, talking politics and religion without killing each other, all you have to do is hit the artwork here in the podcast catcher for The Brian Nichols Show. It'll bring you to today's episode, where you can find today's episode, the entire transcript of today's episode, all the links from today's episode plus Corys bio and oh, by the way, all 450 plus other episodes of The Brian Nichols Show, but with that being said is Brian Nichols signing off. You're on The Brian Nichols Show for Cory Nathan. We'll see you tomorrow.
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Brian Nichols 29:26
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Creative Businessman, Engaged Citizen, Partner
Corey Nathan was raised in an observant Jewish household attending an Orthodox synagogue. His family is mostly from Brooklyn, NY; but Corey grew up on the Jersey side - Bruce Springsteen country! In his late 20s, much to the family's chagrin, Corey became a Born-again Christian. Not long after this epiphany, the new believer began to find many of the default social and political positions of contemporary American Evangelicalism to be at odds with the very Scriptures that are supposed to be Christians’ authority for how to engage in the world.
Vocationally, Corey started out as a stockbroker (Series 7, Series 63) during the day while he was studying at a theatre conservatory at night. Since then, he’s been an entrepreneur with one foot in business and one foot in creative pursuits having built and managed such endeavors as:
a specialty headhunting firm
a theatre and film ministry
a residential and commercial service company
a 501c3 to help folks during the pandemic
and most recently a new media/content company.
Avocationally, Corey continues to be a student of theology, politics and culture and enjoys sharing invigorating conversations with world-renowned experts of these subjects on the podcast he produces and hosts, Talkin’ Politics & Religion Without Killin’ Each Other. He can also be caught having these same kinds of discussions with friends and family over a good whiskey or glass of wine with the music of Monk, Coltrane or Louis Armstrong setting the mood.
Corey has been married to Lisa for 24 years and has 3 kids, Savannah (21), Jackie-boy (18) and Emerson (17) along with the family pooches, Bailey and Charles Mingus the 3rd. As for rumors of his exploits in the world of Texas Holdem Poker, we can neither confirm nor deny those reports.