Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Summer of '72

It was a typical hot and humid evening in the summer of 1972 . I guess one somehow gets used to the sticky summer weather growing up in Maryland. This particular summer night would bring change to my life forever.

The hot, humid summer evening did not deter the golfers from hitting a bucket or two of balls at Fairway Golf Range. This was the driving range which was owned by my father. It was a popular place to come for serious golfers or just those wishing to test how far they could crush a golf ball!

I worked (slaved) evenings at the golf range while attending college. I think it was the old Ford farm tractor with the ball picker-upper on the front, that made it fun! Chasing gofers (not golfers) and snagging balls as golfers tried repeatedly to hit the tractor which had a screen cage (thank God) surrounding it.

(FYI ~ I think you'll get a kick out of the "Driving Range" spot featured on You the link on the right)

Most of my time was spent hanging-out in the golf cabana checking in golfers and filling buckets with freshly washed balls.

Once or twice a week, a couple would arrive and spend a few hours hitting golf balls. Actually, the truth is, this very fit middle aged woman would hit basket after basket while her husband (who made a striking resemblance to Winston Churchill) would walk his lazy basset hound, smoking a good sized "Cuban". He would never miss an opportunity to strike up conversation with me. His name was Stan McCormick.

Over the many weeks we became friends and would discuss sports, politics, weather, dogs….you name it we talked about it. I do remember laughing a great deal….and that he had the most infectious laugh!

One evening Stan asked me what I planned to do with the rest of my life. I remember saying rather profoundly....“I want to be a professional Actor, Drummer, on TV or the Radio….I think?” I recall Stan as being very supportive and encouraging upon hearing of my dream(s). "Go for it kid!" He said. I later learned from Stan, that he worked in Television and that his responsibility was as Sales Manager for WRC TV in Washington D.C.

Several weeks and many golf balls flew by. Then one evening boom! “You know. Jimmy" (his nickname for me) "…..I may have an idea for you..... I have some friends who just acquired a small A.M. radio station in Laurel Maryland….maybe they need some help?....I’ll call ‘em and let you know.”

Well he did and they did…and I received what so many of us are fortunate enough to get; a break! Think of it. A casual, kind, discussion.....later a phone call.....and my life was changed forever.

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give" ~ Winston Churchill

One never knows how, from where, or from whom opportunity will present itself. But don’t think for a moment it’s not out there. Sure as the sun will rise, opportunity is actively searching for its next victim! You may be next! Perhaps you are looking for that first job, that first role ….or you are a veteran actor looking for your next performance…..whatever you’re in the hunt for….be confident …your door will open! But be prepared. Oddly enough, chances are, you’ll be guided to your next opportunity through a most remarkable circumstance.

If we're truly honest with ourselves this comes as no surprise. After all…this is LIFE!!

It’s the people we meet along this remarkable journey that makes it so extra amazing!

Thank you, Stan!

Oh important footnote. Be sure you "PAY IT FORWARD" and help find someone that next opportunity. You'll bring about immeasurable joy!

Inside Studio A.....I'm James Herron

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