Thursday, July 5, 2012

Two Short Stories That Will Make You Feel Good

This is a short post about a couple of things that are very nice.

First, to celebrate the 4th of July, we went to the Bay View parade (Milwaukee, Wisconsin). It was great to attend the Three Little Birds' first parade ever (for those unfamiliar, the "Three Little Birds" are my triplet nephews and niece; born a tad premature in 2011, I used to sing Bob Marley's Three Little Birds to them in the NICU). It's great to see how far they have come and it's exciting to see them out and about after lots of time indoors.

Like everywhere, yesterday was sweltering in Milwaukee. As we stood at the northeast corner of Humboldt Park watching the parade pass, a Milwaukee police officer monitoring the parade from the rear bumper of his parked, unmarked squad car approached my sister and brother-in-law and said that if the three little birds were too hot, he would gladly allow them to rest for a spell in the air-conditioned car.

What a nice gesture!

We didn't take advantage of it, but wasn't that swell of him to ask? Heck, I was ready to take him up on his offer; however, the thought of me sitting in the back of a squad car conjured up too many bad memories of my collegiate years. 

Ah, reckless youth. Thank goodness I lived through it. 

Second, tonight's main act at Summerfest's Marcus Amphitheater is the Zac Brown Band. I knew nothing about Zac Brown on the day that his mega-popular album The Foundation dropped in stores. However, on that day, I found myself sitting at Elephant & Castle in downtown Chicago after a day at a trade show at McCormick Place. Another diner and drinker in town for business too, sat beside me. After a few minutes we struck up a conversation when he asked me this question: "Do you like music?"

Turns out this fellow was a good friend of Zac's and he was thrilled that his buddy's new album was released this day. He was excited and alone and couldn't wait to talk to somebody about it. This guy was not only a friend of Zac's, but he was the band's personal physician. He would often tour with them or meet them at various points along their tour to monitor their health. 

This doctor's main professional focus, however, was the treatment of children with autism. And here is where my best memories were formed. 

He explained at great lengths innumerable examples of Zac Brown volunteering and providing support, shows, resources, etc. for autism foundations (the good Doctor's in particular). Zac hadn't even reached his big fame yet, and, up until that point, he mostly had a dedicated and passionate legion of fans. Nonetheless, I was highly impressed by his selfless nature and commitment to a cause.

Even without ever hearing his music, I became a Zac Brown Band fan.

Since that night I've come to know his music from the band's The Foundation album. I've enjoyed seeing their meteoric rise and I've admired Zac's incredible ability to pick the guitar. I am happy to see good things happen to good, talented people and if it weren't for the Avett Brothers (a personal favorite!) playing next door tonight at the BMO Harris Pavilion, I'd be there at the Marcus Amphitheater amongst Zac's dedicated and passionate legion.

Good stuff to hear, right? Now enjoy some of my favorite Zac Brown picking on Mary.

1 comment:

  1. Oughta prove to everyone: good things are happening all around us. You just have to recognize when you see them.