How the seed was planted
I grew up in a small town of 18,000 in Central Wisconsin, “The Dairy State”. My parents were both teachers. My father was a Geography teacher who later became the Vice Principal and Truant Officer of the Junior High. He was also a football coach. My mother taught Special Education at the Senior HighSchool. My father was always present in the background throughout my junior high experience. When I progressed to highschool,my mother was ever present. I was never able to get away with anything. I have one brother who teaches Honors English and is a wrestling coach. He is in both the state and national wrestling coaches Hall of Fame. He has also coached the Junior Olympic team for years and is a published author of several wrestling books. He writes a column for the paper where he lives too, full of glib humor and exceptional story telling.
It was an interesting experience to get sent to the principal’s office and have to go see your father or his boss.
I never expected to end up where I am.
In school I was a jock who played baseball, basketball, and football, but I also loved creative writing, history, and art.
The music bug hit me in grade school. In grade school I’d run home after school to watch American Bandstand, or Happening 68. I would sit, riveted watching the bands.
Then I started to play air guitar with my toy guitar and perform to the records that I was listening to. At the time I did not realize I was also performing for the neighborhood. Unbeknownst to me, the kids in the neighborhood would stand outside the window and watch me play.
In junior high I was exposed to my first live bands when I went to dances at the Youth Center. I would find myself in art classes drawing band’s backline, different bands performing, even PA’s systems.
I would end up representing several of those bands in the years to come.
My first concert was at the high school and featured Crow, Soup, and The OX, which was a phenomenal show and that was it….
Crow..1970..!! RARE ..rare.. ..Cottage Cheese
SOUP - The Album Soup - Rock And Roll Lady
Many years later, well into my adulthood, I found an old paper I had written in school about how one goes about booking a band. I had no idea at the time how prophetic that would turn out to be.
When I was a freshman I joined the Ukulele Club because they had a guitar, and my father was friends with the teacher. So, that summer he let me take the guitar home and a friend taught me the basics of playing. This led to a band practicing in our garage entertaining the neighborhood. Until the day he died my father wanted to know if there were any more words to “Yummy Yummy Yummy”, other than “stop, stop, stop”. He was referring to the Ohio Express’ song “Yummy Yummy” and our bashful singer not being able to get past the first three words without wanting to stop and start over
I believe I became the President of The Youth Center either in 9th, or 10th grade. Let’s say 10th, so a sophomore in HS.
As the President I was responsible for booking the bands and helping to promote the dances. When I was a Junior in highschool my parents got a new phone plan called Televisit, which meant that basically on weeknights and weekends, you could call anywhere in the state and talk for as long as you wanted for $15. Keep in mind that at the time, the city 6 miles away was a long distance call and charged as such. They got it because my brother was off at college, so they wanted to be able to communicate with him. When that happened I asked all of the agents I was working with if I could help to support my own dates and at 16 years old I became a sub agent for several major agencies in the state.
I started by calling all of the clubs in the area and started booking dates to support my dances. I would try and get the bands who I had booked more dates in the area.
When I graduated from highschool I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career. I was all signed up to go college at my parents almamater and hoped to make the football team. I was a wide receiver and they had just moved to a shotgun formation and were throwing 80 passes a game, so I believed if could just make the team I’d be a happy camper. Especially since I was not able to catch a lot of passes my senior year because our quarterback was usually on his back because our line was only about 120-160 pounds and no match for the 150-250 pound linemen we were competing with.
When I was in junior high my dream career was being a parapsychologist. However, I can’t imagine what I would have done if I had been confronted with a ghosty. Albeit I now have family members who work in this way.
Then, I thought I would become an archeologist which I still think I’d love... but I would probably not enjoy the science and tediousness of the reality of the job.
I suppose that, deep In my heart, my truest dream was becoming a professional football player. I had played since I could walk and oh I loved it..
When I graduated highschool I called all of the agencies I had been working for and one of them hired me.
I was the youngest person he had ever hired. This moment began what has grown into a 47 year career. I have never looked back nor had any regrets.
What I thought was going to be a summer job became a lifelong career.
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