GOOD NIGHT, SIR
First I want to get to the Blues News, and will later tell you about the Honorable Sargent Shriver and my years working for him.
Tonight the Bobby K Blues Band is back with Todd “Buck Weed” Edmunds on bass. They are tight and fun, and I’m looking forward to having Todd’s groove in the mix. Lot’s of dancing, folks, so rest up.
Saturday night our own Russ Musilek returns with the Rhythm Allstars, another house favorite. We’ve a bluesy weekend coming up!
And then there’s Sunday. Starting at 3:00 p.m. with Taylor Marvin and his band, the 2011 Memphis Send-Off is bound to be a great afternoon of music. Big Jim Adams and John Stillwagon follow Taylor, and the Lionel Young Band takes the event home. Tickets are on sale ($10) and 100% of the door goes to getting these talented guys to Memphis, so come and join the party. It’s always a lot of fun, and all the great music really gets everyone excited about the upcoming IBC. Come out and support this annual event when we get to show off some of the tremendous talent Colorado has to offer. Then stick around for the Blues Jam.
This Tuesday’s jam is hosted by My Beloved Delta Sonics, and the Avey Brothers will be in the hotel with the night off, and we all know what happens when we have a band in the hotel with the night off on one of our jam nights...
On behalf of Dan King, Gretchen Troop, and myself, I’d like to thank all the musicians and fans who came out this past Monday for the 3rd Annual Dan King Appreciation Day. So much great music with so many in the audience that it was impossible to believe this was a Monday night! I can assure you, Dan felt ALL the appreciation, and he had a great time. We’re already looking forward to next year. He’s a great boss and a true patron of the Blues.
Speaking of great bosses, my former boss, and greatest hero, The Honorable Sargent Shriver, passed away on Tuesday. Although he was 95 years-old and in the final stages of Alzheimer’s, this loss is prodigious and personal. Throughout this life, I’ve been astronomically blessed with great influences, great minds, and great guidance. Mr. Shriver (as he’s always been to me), was one of those influences that changed every life he touched, including mine. And dramatically so.
On Monday, when it was clear that he was passing, I was asked to write a tribute to Mr. Shriver for the Special Olympics International website. It was at SOI that Mr. Shriver hired me as his Executive Assistant. Mr. Shriver was then the Chairman of the Board, President and CEO. It was a heavy job indeed, where a 40-hour week would have seemed like a part-time position. Saturdays in the office were almost as numerous as those I spent at home. And it was an honor. Here’s my tribute:
Mr. Shriver was a spry 78 when I went to work for him as his Executive Assistant, and a still spry 82 when I left Special Olympics International. It is impossible to detail, in any language, the influence Mr. Shriver has had over countless lives, mine included. It was an honor and a privilege working for the greatest visionary of the 20th Century, experiencing first hand that nothing is impossible when driven by noble motives. The Honorable Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr., was the noblest of them all. It is inarguable that Mr. Shriver will forever stand in history, side-by-side, with all of the great men of peace, with all of the great thinkers. His life's history of service to others is unqualified. Thank you, Mr. Shriver for being the living proof that one person can change the world. Good night, Sir.
[ Continues ---> ]
Fri 01/21 Bobby K Band
Sat 01/22 The Rhythm Allstars
Sun 01/23 IBC Send-Off 3PM
Sun 01/23 Blues Jam w/Heavy Cats - 7:30
Tue 01/25 Blues Jam w/ Delta Sonics
Thu 01/27 Big Jim Adam and John Stilwagen
Fri 01/28 BlueKrewe
Sat 01/29 Mojomama
Sun 01/30 Jazz Jam w/Mark Diamond
My work for SOI changed the way I saw the world. However, Mr. Shriver was also the Founding Director of the Peace Corps, created all 13 of the programs of Pres. Johnson’s War on Poverty under the Office of Economic Opportunity, and ran them all simultaneously, and at one point, did so while also serving as the U.S. Ambassador to France. And long after he passed the leadership torch, all of those programs continued to think that “Sarge,” as he’s primarily known, was still running them, and our office was constantly inundated with requests for his time, speeches, etc. So, I didn’t just do work for SOI, I indirectly worked for every organization Mr. Shriver ever touched. And again, it was an honor.
On August 11, 2009, Mr. Shriver’s wife (and another great influence on my life), Eunice Kennedy Shriver passed away at 88. Two weeks later, her brother, the incomparable Senator Edward M. Kennedy passed away. Those sad events brought with them personal reflection of my extraordinary time with this extraordinary family. Regardless of one’s political leanings, all branches of this family were and are service oriented, philanthropically oriented, and have, in large ways and small, made significant changes in this world of ours. Mr. Shriver made the most significant changes to my world.
Mr. Shriver has also indirectly altered the Blues scene here on the Front Range. It was through him and his wife that I learned firsthand the value of grassroots organization, and that is how I approached my position as Promotional Director when I first began working for Dan. I learned that not all things are accomplished with money, and what Dan and I were trying to do fell squarely into that category. We needed to let the community know that we’re here, and that takes a solid grassroots approach.
Mr. Shriver has also indirectly helped a lot of musicians and people in the Gulf, as it was my years witnessing and learning the all around benefits of helping others that informs my ideas. When someone in our Blues community needs help, my first thought is always, “fund raiser.” I learned firsthand that if you organize behind a noble motive, people will happily help. People want to help, and sometimes it just takes one person to say, “Hey, I have an idea.” I learned that from Mr. Shriver.
Mr. Shriver’s nickname for me was “Happy.” With his passing, I can’t exactly live up to that moniker right now, but I will carry his spirit with me, as I have since first meeting him in 1994, for all of my days. He used to ask me on at least a weekly basis, “What have you done today to change the world?” I urge you all to ask yourselves that question, and to remember, that you don’t have to be the Founding Director of the Peace Corps to help change the lives of those around you.
Good night, Sir