Tag: Cedar Point

Influence

For most of us who live in Northwest Ohio, it really isn’t that big a deal.  We are used to it.  Every opportunity we have… we carefully plan our escape.  We can’t wait to get away from here because we are bored and think there is nothing to do.  So we plan expensive vacations to visit the Navy Pier and other sites of Chicago, Times Square and Ground Zero in New York City and the Disney machine and beaches of Florida.  These and many other sites of destination are all in our dreams and in our plans to escape the confines of Northwest, Ohio.   However, we fail to realize is that when we make the trek to our planned destination East, West , North or South, we are passing thousands of other people who are heading our way.  Coming to the great place of Northwest Ohio.   Like it or not, we are in a place where thousands come for vacation.   For many people,  Cedar Point, Kalahari Water Resort, Put-in-Bay and South Bass Island of Lake Erie and other attractions make this  the “Vacation Land” of  the mid-west.  Boating, fishing, good food, shows, music and thrill rides….everything you could want for distraction and entertainment.  It truly is an amazing place.  Those of us that live here forget that.

A few weeks ago my wife and I were in Sandusky, Ohio.  We were doing some shopping and we were heading to the Mall.  Now the stretch of road that we have to drive from the expressway to the Mall normally takes us about 2  1/2 minutes in the winter.  In these early days of summer and the vacation season, it took us just under 25 minutes to travel the same distance.  Traffic is horrible and if you pull off to one of the many strip malls along the way it is almost impossible to get back onto the road again.  It is a frustration but one I am willing to put up with because I know that this is good for our economy.  All the hotels are booked and these visitors are pumping dollars into Northwest Ohio.  This is a good thing.

On our journey to the Mall, we decided to stop off at Cold Stone Creamery.  It is a treat we do not normally do, but I had received a gift card and the timing was perfect.  So we pulled off the road and into the strip mall.  After we finished our ice cream, we got back into our van and pulled up to get back on the road to the Mall.   Passing by us, as we looked for an opportunity to break into the long line of traffic, are thousands of others.  Old and young from all over the country. All gathered to see this amazing place and rest or play for a few days.  We sat there for a while trying to take our chance and get moving down the road again.

As I am watching all these people pass us by, I start to wonder about them.  Where are they from? What are their lives like?

I realize that as we move through each day a bit of us is left behind in the lives of those we encounter. We can either leave a smile or a frown on the face we encounter.  We can find a new friend or someone who wishes we would just go away.  Moment by moment and day by day we leave bits of our lives in our wake as we encounter other lives.  What follows in our wake?  What memory did we leave?  How did we touch that life?  What did we leave behind?

As a man who is part of a greater kingdom I often think about these things.  I’m representing what God has done in my life  as I leave bits of my life behind each encounter with another person.  Have I drawn them closer to the kingdom of God or pushed them away?   I have heard it said that many times people don’t reject Jesus Christ.  They reject the Jesus Christ they see in you.  As I apply that to my life, I am challenged to have my walk through life be an example of what God has done in my life.  I want to leave a trail of encounters that touch other lives in a positive way.

I wonder, do you realize the impact you make in the lives of those you meet?   Do you walk as citizens of the kingdom of God in a way that draws others to Christ or pushes them away? 

This is the challenge for you and I today…

“For I have given you an example, that ye also should do as I have done to you.”                                                                           John 13:15

 

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The Death of a Legend…the Motown Sound

It has been a sad week for me.

I purposely did not post because I wanted to think about how I would honor the life of someone that had  been such a part of my childhood years.

So many times when we think of our childhood memories, we think of friends, family and the events that surrounded us.  It might have been playing football or baseball, swimming at the lake, going to Cedar Point, or just hanging out with your friends in the neighborhood.

For me, my childhood memories were filled with with sound.  When I hear these “sounds” today, I am instantly taken back in my mind to the 1960’s and 70’s.  When I hear these “sounds”, I can remember where I was at when I first heard it.  I can smell the freshly mowed grass of the yard all my friends and I played in. These special sounds…were the sounds of Motown Music.

In those days, long before FM Stereo, the only radio station that was of importance was CKLW. “The BIG 8” as it was called back then.  It was a loud, glitzy noise-making radio. Everything was shouted — even the news. The 50,000-watt AM radio giant spewed rock and roll and hyped-news across 28 states and mid-Canada.  It broadcast from across the Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario.  But it was Detroit’s station.  I will never forget the tag line that the DJ’s would say, “C-K-L-W, The Motor Cit-eeeee”.

The capital of the music world was not Nashville, nor was it Los Angeles … back then it was Detroit.

The style…the sound…the hits.

It was Motown… it was everywhere and it was ours.

On Tuesday, September 16, 2008 a legend died.  Norman Whitfield passed away.  For those of you who do not know who he is, he was the Godfather of the Motown sound.  He wrote many of the hits that came from the Motown sound.  Songs that everyone of us have heard at one time or another.  Songs that our grandchildren and their grandchildren will hear in the future.

So many times the singer gets the credit for the success of a song.  But I have always looked past the singer.  I read the liner notes, that fine print that most people never read in a CD or “record” as I like to say.  For me the importance/significance of a song is found in the writing. I look to see who wrote the song.  I try to relate to what the writer was feeling or what the message of the lyrics are saying to me.  I then look to see who the musicians are.  For they are the ones that carry that message.  The singer is just the vehicle in which that message is presented…the music is the body and the lyrics are the real heart and soul of a song.

It is even more magical when the music and lyrics are written by the same artist.  It is then, that we see the true soul of that writer. Norman Whitfield was that kind artist. He wrote the music and he wrote the lyrics.

The word legend is too easily used today.  It seems anyone who has had a hit song at one time or another is considered a legend.  Not for me.  I think we need to reserve the use of the term for those who really deserve the title. Norman Whitfield indeed deserves and has earned the title of “legend”.

In a larger sense, the legend of the “MOTOWN SOUND” of that era has died with him.  Indeed, a very sad week…

But then again, maybe it’s just me…

I have attached just a short list of songs he penned… I have posted a few links of my favorites.

Click on the links below and enjoy…the songs and the life of a true legend. He will be missed.

“I Heard it Through the Grape Vine”

I Wish it Would Rain”

“Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)”

Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”