Thursday, September 11, 2008

Reaching For Goals

What to blog, what to blog? I'm in the middle of packing for our trip to the Upper Peninsula next week so I don't have a lot of time to come up with ideas.

By the way, why did the chicken cross the road? So he would have something to write about in his blog. Ha!.

Speaking of chickens crossing roads, I have a story about perseverence and reaching your goals.

This story starts about seven years ago, when our oldest son Greg was a freshman at Central Michigan University. None of his close buddies went with him to CMU, so his roommate would be a stranger to him. When we arrived at Greg's dormitory room, his roommate-to-be wasn't there. But his stuff was. And Greg was ready to turn around and go home.

Sitting in the closet he shared was a guitar and a cowboy hat. What?! His roommate was a guitar-plucking country type? No way, Greg said. We had to coax him a little to stay. But he did. And surprise of surprises, he became good friends with his new roommate Dave. They roomed together in both dorms and apartments the time they spent at CMU. Greg learned to play the guitar himself, even singing a duet together with Dave for a talent show.

Dave's dream was to make it to Nashville some day. He wrote songs, performed at the local bar, and entered contests here and there. Wendy and I heard him play in Mt. Pleasant once. He sounded like your typical guitar-playing country artist to me. Most of those guys settle for the occasional local gig. Not Dave.

I believe he tried American Idol but didn't get far. There were country-singing contests as well, but I don't think he won anything big, or even came close. That was years ago. He graduated and moved to Florida to take a teaching position. But Greg kept in contact with him after graduation. And, apparently, Dave was still writing and performing. Persevering.

Recently, Dave called with a surprise. He was among four country artists chosen in a contest to become the opening act for Kenny Chesney's Pirates and Poets tour in a large amphitheatre down in Florida. The finals were held at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Dave won.

So the last week in August, Dave was the opening act for one of the largest outdoor music acts in the country. By the time he was finished playing his set of four original songs, there were close to 15,000 fans, he estimated to Greg later. He said he was so nervous his guitar-strumming hand was frozen stiff.

But he made it through his set. Now he says he has opportunities to open for Willie Nelson and to possibly play at halftime during a Miami Dolphins game. And Nashville? He's planning on moving there in the near future. Shows what talent and a little perseverence can do.


I'm going to try to keep up with my blog-surfing and bring my laptop on vacation. But I don't know what wireless capabilities exist in Yooper-land. So it might be a while before you hear from me. I'll try to keep in touch.

15 Comments:

Blogger Lynilu said...

Well, congratulations to young Dave! How cool to have that door open for him. I wish him the best as he can possible have before him.

And you? Have a good trip!!

2:19 PM  
Blogger Carine said...

Congrats to Dave-good for him I say. Of course, here I am, still trying to become a famous journalist 30 years after graduating from college! Of course there was that 20 year gap to raise the kids (mine and 150 others). But Perserverance is a wonderful trait. So glad it worked for this young man!
Have a great vacation and drive safe!

6:26 PM  
Blogger Babette said...

Maybe you should try reaching for touchdowns, rather than goals, Dave.

GO SPARTANS!!!

12:05 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

Great story. Good luck, Dave.

Have a great vacation. With the new digital camera, we expect pictures!

12:33 PM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Vicki once told me they were going to put a wireless connection in the Yooper. Maybe they did...

Nice story about Dave. Maybe you should take up guitar, in case the wireless is still not up.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

LYNILU--Trying to have a good trip here. We're in the Upper Peninsula right now after having spent one night on Mackinac Island. Tomorrow we're going to camp along Lake Superior. Brrrrr.

CARINE--I wish I had more perseverence myself. Maybe if and when I retire.

BABETTE--So I hear that MSU finally found a Florida team it can beat. Florida Atlantic?! We did buy a Michigan jersey for Simon for his first birthday.

FRED--I already have a great digital shot of my bruised and swollen ankle. The story behind that should make a good blog, I figure.

HOSS--They have wireless in the U.P. but hooking up to it is chancy at best. The hotel desk clerk kept giving me a new clue each time I went down to complain I couldn't sign on. Clue one: the name of the internet provider. Clue two: the username. Clue three: the password. Why they couldn't have told me all that at once I don't know. Crazy!

6:57 PM  
OpenID caroldee said...

MCD's has the best possibility of a connection wifi down here I don't know about UP there though.. DANG DAVe is a big STAR.. how about that.. glad for him and hope he makes the big time soon!
AINT it COLD up there?? in the 40's here tonight.. sheesh.. bring those long johns.heheheh
Safe travels.. : )

9:29 PM  
Blogger Kacey said...

Oh, my Dave....you sure picked an odd time to go to the upper peculiar. It does got rather cold up there. Hope you and Wendy are having a good time. This was a good story about perseverance. Maybe I shouldn't discount my one grandson who thinks he can have a boy band....like a million other kids in the USA.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

CAROLDEE--It was in the 70s yesterday. Great for tent camping on Lake Superior, going to sleep with the sound of the wind and the waves.

KACEY--One thing about being a tourist in the U.P. in September. Not many people up here. I like the quiet and solitude though.

6:04 PM  
Blogger amarkonmywall said...

Pasty.com is the provider of choice for da yoopers. Hope you're having a swell time and come back with good pictures.

Have you noticed that the second the Wolverines lose and/or the Spartans win, Mz. B comes waltzing around to rub it in?

11:01 AM  
Blogger simply me said...

Perseverance is one of the character traits taught in my school. It is one that is very difficult for kids and teenagers to really understand. I'm glad that your son's friend stuck it out....good for him.
Life can be hard, it is so easy to give up. I hope my son has it in him to see it all through.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just another great example of what tenacity can produce. Bravo to Dave! He never gave up, and it certainly paid off for him. I love to hear stories like this.
Have a great vacation!
Terri
http://www.islandwriter.net

6:51 AM  
Blogger Big Dave T said...

VICKI--My favorite pastie was the one I had at Syl's Bakery and Cafe in Ontonagon. Yeah, I expect we'll hear more chortling from the northwest this gridiron season.

SIMPLY ME--It takes both talent and perseverence I think. Many think talent alone is enough.

TERRI--I count you as one of those whose talent and tenacity has paid off, in your success as a published writer. Just finishing a book, with all the extensive re-writes, takes some special in my book.

7:10 AM  
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