Acceptance of Music, Motors and Autism with Cookie Monster


(DOUG JESSOPJESSOP’S DIARY) What’s the difference between “autism awareness” and “acceptance of autism?” In this episode of Jessop’s Diary, we visit people who have powerful, positive and inspiring stories.

Watch the video for the full 30 minute episode of Jessop’s Journal – a collection of “powerful, positive and inspiring stories”. Tune in to ABC4 Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. or visit

In this 30 minute episode of Jessop’s Diary we figure “Music, motors and acceptance of autism”

Our first guest has a powerful and positive voice history… so yes, he will also be our musical guest.

Cheyenne Stevens has a inspiring autism acceptance story through his custom Ford Mustang named “Cookie Monster”

Alexis Cruz Explains Her Autism Acceptance Connection to the Hit ABC TV Show “The Good Doctors”.

Everyone has a story. Objects with stories are Treasures in memory.

But first, Will Baxter.


Think about storytelling power of music. Music can make you feel all kinds of emotions. Jessop’s diary features extended interviews with people from all walks of life. In this episode, I sat down with lead singer/songwriter of the Will Baxter Band, none other than, Will Baxter.

Life can sometimes be a bit fortuitous. I interviewed a gentleman by the name of Fire Battalion Chief Jeffrey Thomas.

Jessop’s Journal interview with Fire Battalion Chief Jeffrey Thomas

I noticed that Jeffrey had shared a link to one of his favorites R&B musicians. One thing leads to another and here we are.

I like to present musicians for several reasons. First of all, I love music and at the time, when I had more hair, I was a radio DJ. Number two, it takes a few major cojones to be a full time musician and this lovely COVID thing has really hit the entertainment industry hard. Being able to feature musicians is my way of trying to help.

Will was surrounded by music lovers and music lovers as a child. There was a genre he didn’t have much exposure to at home. He was a friends dad who had an amazing collection of Rhythm and Blues and Motown which sparked Will’s creative juices.

Luckily for you and me, Will also brought his guitar and performed a song called “You and me” in this interview. I felt like Marvin Gaye had transported himself to the chair next to me while Will was singing the serenade; “Where did the good times go. Sing along. We have to come together. Find a way to make tomorrow better than today.

I asked Will; “What does it mean to you to have someone say, you know there’s this song, that this guy, Will Baxter sings. That every time I think about it, I think about that? Will smiled broadly and replied, “For me, that leaves your mark. It’s that song, ‘You and I’ that you heard and kind of connected to. I think the most great songwriters, that’s probably their goal. To reach people through music, that message. And I like to leave a mark that is a positive message.

I’m all about positive. Well said, Will!


(DOUG JESSOP JESSOP’S TRAVELS) The universal symbol of autism is a puzzle piece. Cheyenne Stevens took that symbol to new heights with his custom Ford Mustang on display at the Autorama auto show.

Cheyenne’s car “Cookie Monster” is just one example of the unique vehicles you’ll see at AutoRama.

When you take a closer look at “Cookie Monster”, you will notice a large number of these “puzzle pieces” on the car. Cheyenne explained that her favorite part is the hidden puzzle pieces. Instead of the “Autism Awareness” standard, Cheyenne promotes “Autism Acceptance”. She explained that the hidden puzzle pieces are like the parts of a person with autism that you may not know or recognize. The takeaway – don’t automatically judge people, get to know them.


Autism. You may know about the lack of eye contact and other social skills, but do you know about the unique ability to look at things differently.

Alexis Cruz deals with autism. ABC’s Good Doctor illustrates the challenges as well as the strengths you may not realize in people with autism. We asked him about the character of Dr. Shaun Murphy, a young surgeon with autism. “It blew me away with its precision. I really identify with that character too sometimes.

Dr. Murphy’s character is fairly direct; “I have a neurological disease. I will always have it. “

Alexis is not a TV series character. She is an example of a young woman living with autism. She said; “With autism, there is no pill. There is nothing that will help you focus or solve any social or communication problems you have. So, we have to face it and use it to our ability.”

The Good Doctor video trailer shows the words “Greatest Challenge” on the screen, followed by “Greatest Strength”. Alexis demonstrates the “strength” part of this statement. “My superpower is autism. With autism, I can see solutions to problems some people didn’t know existed. I see several results of certain things.

Stephanie Mackay with Columbus Community Center Explain; “Young adults on the spectrum often have hyperfocus. They can see patterns. they have different sensory experiences that may cause them to see things differently. “

What is Alexis’ hyper focus? “Since I can hold a pencil. It’s still art. Nothing to do with art…”

This creative superpower landed him a job as a apprentice at a local jeweler with the assistance of Columbus Community Center Vocational Rehabilitation and Placement Services.

I have to admit that Alexis Cruz impressed me with her determination when she told me; “I’m going to show people what I can do…go ahead and underestimate me, just because I have autism. But I’m going to show you what I am as a human being, not as a person with autism.

What advice does Alexis’ mom, Cindy Cruz, have for other families struggling with autism? “Get to know your child. And keep trying because there are things you think they should do because it’s normal. But they have a different set of normalcy and that’s okay.


Ilanna Schwalbe from Connecticut sent me these photos and the story behind his Russian samovar.

Samovars became popular as an accessible hot spring and for the warmth of harsh Russian winters. More importantly, the Samovars were the center of cultural life.

When Illanna’s great-great-grandmother and her family from Minsk, Belarus were fleeing from the Cossacks in the late 1800s and trying to get to America, they hid this samovar in a blanket and disguised it as a baby.

They arrive in New York and settle in Milwaukee. This tea set with Russian script was passed down and was given to Ilanna by her mother.

Everyone has a story. Objects with stories are Treasures in memory.


Everyone has a story. I feel it strongly “stories have power”. Chances are if you’re going through something, someone else has probably been through it too. The shared experiences that humans have can help each other. That my friend points out that the stories “Help us understand each other.

You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people took more time to find out more about each other and where they’re from, we might just find that we have more similarities than differences.

Please follow me on, LinkedIn, Youtube and to “@dougjessopnews” on Facebook, instagram and Twitter.

Jessop’s Diary is something special when it comes to broadcasting news. I’m honored to be able to do longer, in-depth interviews that you don’t normally see with people from all walks of life. Congratulations to my collaborator, Ed Willets, who does a great job as a videographer/editor for all my stories. Your comments are always welcome at [email protected]

It is my honor to be able to share, Jessop’s Journal, a 30-minute collection of powerful, positive, and inspirational stories every Sunday morning at 10 a.m. on ABC4 to all of Utah as well as parts of Nevada, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and Arizona. Jessop’s Journal is also available worldwide at

With another entry in Jessop’s Diary, I am Doug Jessop.

For Doug Jessop, it all started with a cassette tape recorder he received for Christmas when he was 12 growing up in Southern California. Doug interviewed relatives, friends and anyone else who might have a good story. You can follow Doug on www.DougJessop.comto @DougJessopNews on Facebook, instagram and Twitter.

Jessop’s Journal is a copyrighted production of Fedora Incorporated and made possible through the generous support of XLEAR, Tatt2Away, Millcreek Gardens and LIFE Never boring.


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