It's me doing a little posing while taking a break at the Ouray, Colorado Jeep Jamboree in 1995.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Starting Line Looks Good From Where I'm Standing

I recently watched a performance of "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat."

I'm not a huge fan of musicals. The silliness of people as they are going about their daily lives suddenly bursting into song and dance usually overwhelms any entertainment value I might reap from the performance.

I do like "Chicago" and have probably watched my DVD copy of "Moulin Rouge" 20 times or more. I also saw the road show of "Phantom of the Opera" row 8, center about 20 years ago in Ft. Lauderdale. Enjoyed that immensely.

Generally, though, I'm not a fan of musicals.

The production of "Joseph" I saw wasn't a road show. It didn't harbor professionals in its cast. It wasn't awash in pageantry.

It was a summer-camp production put on with kids ranging in age from 10 to 18. I saw it at the Delray Beach Playhouse on my last trip to Florida.

The cast, composed of kids who had to try out to qualify, rehearsed a mere three weeks. You would have never known it by the quality of their performance. I was blown away.

Why would I spend a precious three hours of a short, four-day Florida excursion in a dark theater rather than lying about someone's pool sucking down margaritas? I knew a couple of the kids in the cast.

It was a Sunday afternoon and the production's final performance. The theater was sold out.

I was sitting in a row with a half dozen friends. Among them were the parents of the kids I knew.

One of those kids was my adopted god daughter, Riley. I call her adopted not because she is, but because I am. Her real godfather has sort of dropped out of the picture. I am the official godfather of her younger sister, Sierra. So, I have sort of become Riley's as well.

Riley's friend Katie, whom I've known for several years and am good friends with her mom, was also in the show.

Why am I boring you with all this minutia? It is because I wasn't only struck by the high quality of this production, but by the enthusiasm and optimism of the kids in the cast.

As I approach a milestone birthday the end of this month, I am reflecting a bit on where I've been, where I am and what I might accomplish in the relatively short time I have left.

As I watched those kids so full of hope, dreams and possibilities, I couldn't help but revel in their futures full of promise.

I was moved.

I sure wouldn't want to be 10 or 12 years old again, but I was excited for these kids with their entire adult life spread out before them.

For a brief moment I shared in the pride of these girls' parents and got a glimpse of what it must be like to be a parent.

It was the perfect Florida afternoon.

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