"The Childe...More restless than the swallow in the skies..." -Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Reflections from the Midwest

I was tickled to find that some of my writing made it into a new play titled Flyover USA showing at Williamston Theatre. Last Sunday I caught a matinee at this excellent professional theatre in central Michigan. If you can see it, Flyover USA is a delightfully feel good slice of life in the Midwest. It focuses on the experiences of men living in this sometimes maligned region.
Several reflections I wrote were not selected. Given the abundance of wonderful material included from many men, I'm thrilled two excerpts did make the cut.
Below are some selections not chosen for the show:

My first car: To be frank, I don’t remember the make or model of my first car. I didn’t care then, and I don’t care now. It ran fine and got me and my buddies where we needed to go. And I was grateful to have that car right up until the day I totaled it, two months after getting my license.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be an astronaut. I also wanted to be a major league baseball player. And then I wanted to be a movie star. Lack of discipline kept me from the first two. And a growing distaste for the acting lifestyle will almost certainly keep me from the movie career. That will be okay, as long as I never give up on my greatest ambition: writing.

When you’re stressed or frustrated, what do you do to relax?
I eat high-end frozen pizza and watch reruns of my favorite TV shows on DVD.

Tell us about who your idol was while you were growing up:
My idol growing up was Atlanta Braves outfielder Dale Murphy. I got interested in him because we were members of the same church. But he became my hero for other reasons. He was modest and mild-mannered everywhere except the batter’s box. He had a beautiful wife, an awesome career, and was known to everyone as a genuine good guy. And I’ve always been fascinated with men who become rich, famous, and world-class without getting divorced along the way.
Bottom line: as a teenager I wanted to be like “Murph.” In the mid-80s, I watched every Braves game I could catch on TBS. And I still remember seeing Murph hit his 300th career homerun: a line shot over the right-centerfield fence at Fulton County Stadium. He specialized in hitting homeruns to the opposite side of the field. After he retired from baseball, I pretty much stopped following the sport. My hero moved on. So I did too.

If you could tell your son one thing about what it means to be a man, what would it be?
Dear Son,
The reason you have not been conceived yet is your mom plays hard to get. Plus I hate jumping through hoops. For what it’s worth, you’re not missing much. The economy sucks right now. Love Always,
Your Bachelor Dad.

Information on the play Flyover USA is available at http://www.myspace.com/williamstontheatre or http://www.williamstontheatre.org/.

1 comment:

  1. Jake,

    Your answer/letter to "If you could tell your son one thing..." is one of the funniest things I've read online in a long while! Your dry sense of humor comes through in the written word in a great and wonderous way. :) It's been a long time - I hope you're well.