In the World, But not of It
Greetings One and All,
It is the first week of April. You know what that means!! April Fool pranks and jokes!! I had been looking forward to this week and day for a while. Ever since I was little I have watched The Price is Right. Sometimes with my mom and Grandma, then as an adult through the years. I am glad for technology because even without a TV I can still watch The Price is Right every day online. I was hesitant at first when Drew Carey took over from Bob Barker, but I believe he is doing a great job. In fact I love Drew Carey on The Price is Right!! But on April Fool's Day, Drew switched with Craig Ferguson and took over The Late Night Show. Once again I went to view it online but never made it to the guests for the night. Why? Because as he was doing his standup there became a point where I became very uncomfortable with what he thought was funny. It was not funny, it was too sexual for my taste. I turned it off and walked away.
What would you do? Have you ever been in a situation where you had to stand up for what you felt was right or wrong for you? What was the outcome? It reminded me of a story that happened in the 80's.
My friends and I had gone to Salt Lake City for a concert. Before the show we had run into one of the bands that was performing that night. They were a new band on the country music scene. The trend at that time was we saw more and more older rock bands gearing towards the country music scene. If you were a new band Salt Lake City was the place to play. If they accepted you there, you were on your way. Anyone who has ever been a country music fan knows one you get the country music fan, you have fans for life. I saw right through the long hair and earrings. I was not going to like them. I did not like their music and they were not getting MY MONEY!!
But an interesting thing happened. One asked me if I had heard their music. "Yes I have heard it." I said smirking. "So what do you think?" he asked. I thought for a second and asked him back, "Do you want a good answer or the truth?" Smiling (I am sure he knew what was coming) "No, I want the truth." I laid into him!! "Who do you think you are with your long hair and earrings and trying to take over the country music fans! It won't work!!" He smirked back as I went on my rant. When I was through he simply said, " You are going to the show right?" I nodded I was. "Will you do me a favor? Take away the long hair, the earrings, our backgrounds and just listen to the music. Then will you come back after the show and tell me what you think?" I thought it was fair and I agreed. Okay I was stunned that someone wanted my TRUTHFUL opinion! But I agreed.
During the show I was still not impressed UNTIL the music stopped. There was no guitars, or keyboards or drums, just their voices. They sang an acapella song called "I Fall to Pieces." Here is a link to the song: I Go To Pieces. The place was so quiet as their words flowed through the Salt Palace air. When they finally finished the crowd erupted to their feet including myself. That was the moment and night I fell in love with the music of Southern Pacific.
After the show my friends and I hurried back to the Salt Palace to meet up with them and I could give them my opinion. There were five of us, that night plus a couple members of the band. I will never forget that night or the next series of events. I gave my opinion to John and told him they would go far. Him and another member of the band and all of us stood outside the bar and talked for a few minutes and then we were invited into the bar with them. We all kind of looked at each other for what seemed like a long couple of minutes and finally I said, "No I don't think that is a good idea." Now what young girls would not want to go into a bar and party with a band? The next question was, "Why? Aren't you old enough to drink?" laughing. Once again no one stepped up to say anything so it was up to me. "No it's not that, it's just that we are Mormons and we don't drink." We all stood outside for a few more minutes when the guys asked if we minded if they went in. I said, "No not at all." They went into the bar and we began to walk away and that is when the real shocker came. One of my friends said, "If you hadn't said anything we would have gone in with them!" Another said "We could get cokes we don't have to drink." And yet another said, "I want to go in there." At that point I just stopped. "You all can go in, I will stay out here and wait for you." And yet another friend said, "No we can't go in now after you told them we were Mormons." I felt I had let my friends down that night. I knew they were mad at me. Through the next several years we would go to their concerts and got to know them as "people" not rock or country stars. I have the upmost respect and love for these guys. They are great family men and just all around good people.
It was interesting. One of their first return trips to Salt Lake City I had a picture taken with one of them and he was holding a can of beer. In those days you had to buy film, drop it off, and then go pick it up a week later after it was processed. I was on the bus one day looking at my prints when someone nearby glanced at my pictures and asked who they were and if she could see them. I was anxious to tell her about this great new band. But the next words out of her mouth held me back. "They are drinking!! And they wear earrings!! You shouldn't be around them!" It made me sad and really made me think about the person I was and what I was reflecting. I didn't see I was doing anything wrong. I made the choice to continue to support them and see them perform when I could.
As the years went on our friendship grew with them. One day in July several years later, two of my friends and I made the trip to Salt Lake and to await for them to arrive at their hotel. (Yes I led an interesting life at that time!) Little did we know it would be our last time seeing them before they would split up as a band. We were not there long before the bus pulled in and one by one they walked in and saw us. Their smiles melted my heart!! One of them told us it was so good to see familiar faces and in the next breath said, "Don't you guys work? How do you get so much time off?" We laughed and explained it was a state holiday. That is when John said, "It is Pioneer Day Weekend right?" We all looked at each other and at John and said "How did you know that?" He smiled and they excused themselves to go eat but told us to stay and they would be back.
John came back and I asked him again, "How did you know this was Pioneer Day Weekend?" He looked at us and then said, "My best friends are Mormons." He paused for a moment. "Do you remember the first night we met you and you refused to go into the bar with us?" We all looked at each other, because it had come up in several conversations over the years. I remember the bashing I had taken. He went on to tell us "I don't know if I will ever join the Mormon Church, but I know I have become a better person because of all of you." To say we were stunned is an understatement.
As we were leaving my thoughts went back to the night when I refused to simply go in a bar with a band. My friends with me that night told me they were now grateful I had stood up and not gone in. It taught me that it is okay to stand up for what you believe. Not everyone will agree and some may leave your side. But you are the only one who can stand up for what you believe and what you feel is right.
It was that night that taught me that I must live in this world but I do not have to agree with all that goes on in it. And just because I choose not to agree with someone or do what they do does not make ME or THEM any less a friend or any less loved or any less respected. It is okay to walk away or say no if you do not agree with them. It won't always be easy, but it always doable.
Have a wonderful week. Hugs and Loves Everyone....Laura