Sunday, July 6, 2008

In the span of about 15 hours...

...I heard an aspiring young singer-songwriter, met a self-published author of a historical work, and saw the exhibit of a model railroad enthusiast.

How that happened:

#1. The singer-songwriter. Hubby's cousin's daughter, Emily (whom we had never met in person), is on a self-scheduled performance/promotion tour--a big loop from Michigan, out west, up through Canada, and back to Michigan in the course of a few weeks. She was singing at a small restaurant/bar in Portland last night, so the Hub and I drove down to see her. She has a good voice and has written some thought-provoking songs -- I would place her in the alternative folk genre.

2. The author. Emily scheduled her performances along the path being traveled by Ron Papandrea, author of They Never Surrendered: The Lakota Sioux Band That Stayed In Canada. Papandrea, also from Michigan, is out promoting his book, a scholarly historical work which took him 6 years to research and write. We sat with him during Emily's performance and bought a copy of the book (which I started reading last night).

#3. The model railroader. J.D., a patient of mine who lives in a nearby small town, has been a model railroader since he was a kid in 1955. Whenever he comes in for an eye exam he invites me to come out to his shop and see his model railroad set-up, but I've never done it. (To be honest, I thought it would be a little awkward.) Last week he dropped off a flyer at the clinic for me -- he was having an open house (or would that be open shop?!) during the 4th of July weekend. So I grabbed my mom and we headed over this morning. He does have a nice display -- of course it's a work in progress, as those things usually are.

As I was driving home, I was struck by the fact that these three people have such disparate interests and backgrounds, yet there is a common thread. They are each steadfastly pursuing their own dream, in spite of the fact that they don't appear to have a lot of public support at present. (The audience to hear Emily was very small, Ron only sold one book last night, and my mom and I were the only two people looking at the railroad display this morning.) My belief is that life is short and people need to go with their passion. (Of course I know one needs a balancing dose of reality as well.) In any event, I think they each will be rewarded for their perserverance. Emily just learned she will get to open for singer Amos Lee later this month, Ron found out they picked up his book to be sold at the Custer Battlefield site in Montana, and J.D. told me there appears to be some interest in making his railroad open house an annual 4th of July event in his small town.


Presbyterian Gal said...

That's a good insight about life being short and you have to follow your dream. It's why I'm publishing my own things now.

Diane said...

my husband knows someone named Jim Papandrea. wonder if they are related.

yeah! life is short! follow your dream is a great insight which cannot be repeated enough.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

One silly comment--my brothers are model railroaders. It's never finished.

And one serious comment. Thank you for this post. My husband and I are two of those people pursuing our vocations without much encouragement from the world. We've concluded that faithfulness in using the talents God gave us is the important thing. Yes, people still need a dose of reality--about earning a living, for instance. But you can still usually find time for the passion along with the practicality.

David said...

The lack of public interest makes me feel sorry for them :(

Randall said...

Life is short? Very limited view for a theologian. Life is eternal. But that's no excuse for squandering it. Life may be infinite, but the things to do are infinite also. When I was a boy, we had a family friend, a widow who was over 60 year old, and she took up a new hobby every year. The ones I knew of were astronomy, listening to baseball on the radio, playing the organ, and stamp collecting. She was always trying to expand her horizons. How many of us can say that... especially those of us over 30?

Barbara B. said...

pg, yes! I'm glad you are publishing your plays and stories!

diane, It doesn't seem like Papandrea would be a real common last name, so they sure could be related!

ruth, I like your thought about finding time for the "passion along with the practicality".

david, I had the same feelings actually!

randall, Thanks for your comments. I'm not addressing what comes "after", but life on this earth is short. Expanding horizons -- that's great!