“A Reason to Smile” By Henry Piarrot

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Some days are better than others and through it all, we learn that good times do not last forever and bad times do not as well.  However, every day we are blessed to awake is yet another gift that we will not be allowed to experience again.  Those of us who understand this timeless notion survive the days that do not go their way and relish the ones that do.

Boni Petit, former group sales representative for the Ramada Inn in Sevierville knows the value of a smile, especially on the days they are the hardest to muster.

Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, young Boni moved to Wilmington, NC with her new husband when she was barely 18 years old.  That year, he began college to become a marine biologist and she went to work.  Before long, Boni enrolled in cosmetology school and continued to work.

Then after 1200 hours of school, in 1977 Boni became a hairdresser and began her profession.  However, suddenly more than 6 years had passed and her husband was still in school and she continued to work.  By that time, she decided that there was something wrong with the arrangement and moved on with her life.

Tragically, in 1987 Boni found herself in the clutches of an abusive man.  Like almost every woman who finds herself in that dangerous position, she never saw it coming until it was too late.  Far from any family or protection and carrying her abuser’s baby, Boni suffered terribly until her newborn son was 10 days old.  That day she took her baby in her arms and ran for their lives, ultimately escaping to Wisconsin where he could not find them.  Difficult as those days were, Boni realized she was one of the lucky ones, as she was able to survive a perilous relationship that many women do not.

Boni had lived in Wilmington all of her adult life and in time wanted to return to her home.  A friend of one of her close friends agreed to help her return and protect her from her violent past.  However, that understanding led to year after lonely year as his profession in the motion picture industry kept him away from home more than 10 months a year.

To positively occupy her time, Boni became involved in Church and in time became one of eight people to create a Church in Wilmington.  As a result she became part of “The Southern Gospel Seekers,” a singing group that performed for several years around North Carolina.  During that time, she met Gene Petit, a member of her Church and a musician in her group.

Gene and Boni eventually became a couple but the constant hurricanes attacking the East Coast inspired them to move their families west.  Boni loved the beauty of Tennessee as well as her distance from the water.  Consequently, they came to the Great Smoky Mountains and began a life in 2001.

Once in Sevierville, Boni found the most enjoyable job she ever had when she joined the staff at the Ramada in group sales.  Gene eventually opened his own heating and air company and all was right with the world.  But, in 2006 Gene became disabled after heart surgery and the family business did not live long after.

Then, two years later Boni had a chance to buy into her family’s land in Illinois.  The owners of the Ramada allowed her keep her job and serve her favorite hotel from there.  Ultimately, Gene returned to Sevierville in 2009.  But there was still her work.  Then, after 11 years her position was eliminated this past June.

Once again, Boni has picked herself up, thanked God for the day and smiled at the sky.

As motivated as she has ever been to find work Boni found a Texas company named CERMA that manufactures and sells a magical product.  So impressed with what they are selling, the experienced marketer immediately signed on.

STM-3 is the active ingredient in all CERMA products.  It was invented in 1999 at Gardena California.  Today all Cerma products are produced in Texas by the inventor John Murray.

CERMA Engine Treatment and products have caused many who have experienced the effects of this treatment on their engines to literally shake their heads at the results. Boni said, “The savings in fuel, emissions and HVAC costs is certainly a lucrative offer to the general public and industries alike. In today’s headlines of high gas prices and energy costsCERMA has been extensively tested and makes professionals shake their heads because there is something in the market that has proven test results to increase performance.”  Adding, “It will be my pleasure to put the word out to Sevier County how so many would benefit from use of this incredible product.  Hotels, conventions centers, refrigeration services and restaurants will all benefit greatly”

Once again, Boni Petit has found a reason to smile in a place many of us would be too discouraged to look.  While others would embrace the role of victim and proclaim the world as harsh, Boni continues to move forward with a positive attitude and a new way of helping others live better as well.

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” – Scientist Marie Curie

Henry Piarrot is a Sevier County Resident and hotel manager on assignment in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.  Please send all story recommendations to hpiarrot@yahoo.com