The gift every cyber-dad wants.

November 29th, 2007 by John Morris

My name is John Morris. This blog site was a gift to me by my son, Adam on the occasion of my 62nd birthday. I think he did it to nudge me back to writing. I think this just might work.

Since I’m new to blogging, I’ll make some rookie mistakes but at my age, I don’t care if I make mistakes. It’s the not trying that’s the real mistake.

 Okay, batter up.

 John Fogerty and Joni Mitchell are my examples of people with genuine talent. They are blessed with the ability to do something in an hour and half that the average person can’t do in a lifetime and a half.

 There are others, but no matter how much I admire the talents of Elton John and Billy Joe, their musics doesn’t inhabit my iPod. This is the sacred ground occupied by Fogerty and Mitchell, and they travel in august company. In the country music side only, we have Hank, Sr, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Roger Miller.

I’ve always wanted to watch people of genuine talent show the world what they can do. I wanted a close-up and personal experience. One that would make me feel special just to be in their assembly.

This past Tuesday, I got my wish. I attended a poorly attended – 20 folks – concert at West Chester University by country singer/songwriter, Keni Thomas. One of my favorite people, Steve McKernian of the Student Activities office asked me to interview Thomas at the concert. Since Thomas and I are Army Veterans of different generations, McKernian rationalized I may be able to connect with Thomas. Of course, I said, “Yes”. McKiernan is a ball of energy who gets people enthused about his plans.

By doing deep studying of Keni Thomas on the internet, I learned he had been an Army Ranger involved in the famous Blackhawk Down mission. He was an assistant team leader and airborne qualified. Since he left the Army, he did music and motivational speaking engagement. He was a man with a message and had found two ways to get it out to us.

The interview wrote itself after I downloaded Thomas’ Flags of our Fathers CD. I had a distance to travel since country music is about fourth on my perference list. The above list would tell you I favor the universally accepted stars fron this genre. No great risk here.

 I had not heard of Thomas except that I missed his concert at the 25th Anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in DC this year.

As I listened to his songs, I found his music engulfed me as an listener. His stories are the brand that speaks to most Americans about highly emotional issues. To call them just patriotic is to fail to describe them. His songs will not make it to elevator music status because they capture the intention of the listener. It’s a commitment that pays strong benefits for the investment.

At the concert. Thomas entertained us with a sampling of his work. I was struck by how much talent inhabited this man. I realized midway through the concert I was watching someone who belonged in the rarified air occupied by John Fogerty and Joni Mitchell. I was getting my wish at long last.

I can now scratch one thing off my life’s list of things to do: watch a remarkable talented person do what makes them remarkable.

P.S.: Dear reader, How did I do? JM

Here you go Dad

November 29th, 2007 by John Morris

A place to write your thoughts for all your family to read.You log-in to your account by clicking here and using the password I sent you. Go to “Options” and change the “tagline” field to update the countdown to the big day. 


The old boy writing this blog wears many hats: Vietnam Veteran, husband & father, salesman and techno-dude. After my service with the Army Security Agency, I operated a sign company for nineteen years, The sign industry changed after CAD/CAM machines made the task easy enough for the non-talented. I sold my company and never looked back.

Life has granted me a life partner better than I deserve. My wife, Lyn is a transplanted Kansas gal. Her bliss is teaching kindergarten and first grade.

I am the most proud of my children. My son, Adam lives an international life teaching English and living in Sozhou, China. He is married to one of life's truly lovely women, Yuri Kim. My daughter, Beth grew up in a small town and found her way in life means working and living in major cities like Chicago and New York. She and her life partner, Julie Sterling married in LaJolla, California in 2010.

I like getting the newest gadgets, but also I like to use things until they are useless, i.e., my last personal car was an 88 Honda Prelude Si.

I wrote a Vietnam Veteran newsletter for nine years. During this journey, I learned I like to write. It is a harmless exercise that rewards honest effort while tolerating failure gracefully. I been away from it for too long. My son gave me the blog, and it was a lifeline back to writing.

My best advice is to show the world what you can do but to accept only your opinion of who and what you are.

Update: In August 2008, my job became one of the half-million jobs that went away that month. I took the following year getting the home ready for my official retirement.

In October 2009, I took a part-time job as a saleman at the vaulted Maxwell's Hardware.

On November 29, 2011, I reached my 66th birthday, and I officially started Social Security. I intend to stay with Maxwell's as long as I can contribute.