Ignored Obscured Restored
I’m writing to you today from Colorado. I think that my have influenced my decision to post thes essay.
We tend to put celebrities up on a pedestal as if their lives are all glamour and riches. But all humans, including pro athletes, titans of industry, Hollywood actors, and rock stars, have their fair share of suffering.
As a case in point, the outwardly funny (perhaps goofy) Joe Walsh has had a tremendous career. One of the greatest guitar players in the history of Rock music, he had initial success with the James Gang, as a solo artist, and finally as a member of Eagles. He has also toured with his brother-in-law’s group – Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band.
But he has also suffered great tragedy. Back in 1974, his then-wife Stefany was in a car accident with their daughter Emma in the car. Stefany was taking Emma to her favorite park when the car was hit on the passenger side by a drunk driver that ran a stop sign. Emma, who was just weeks away from her third birthday, suffered massive head trauma and ultimately succumbed to her injuries.
As is often the case, this put a strain on the marriage and Joe and Stefany ultimately divorced. Joe later had a child’s size drinking fountain put into the playground in Boulder, CO, that was dedicated to Emma. He also wrote her a song.
Years later, Joe was in a relationship with Stevie Nicks. She tells the following story in the liner notes to her greatest hits album, TimeSpace:
I guess in a very few rare cases, some people find someone that they fall in love with the very first time they see them… from across the room, from a million miles away. Some people call it love at first sight, and of course, I never believed in that until that night I walked into a party after a gig at the hotel, and from across the room, without my glasses, I saw this man and I walked straight to him. He held out his hands to me, and I walked straight into them. I remember thinking, I can never be far from this person again… he is my soul. He seemed to be in a lot of pain, though hid it well. But finally, a few days later, (we were in Denver), he rented a jeep and drove me up into the snow covered hills of Colorado… for about two hours. He wouldn’t tell me where we were going, but he did tell me a story of a little daughter that he had lost. To Joe, she was much more than a child. She was three and a half, and she could relate to him.
I guess I had been complaining about a lot of things going on on the road, and he decided to make me aware of how unimportant my problems were if they were compared to worse sorrows. So he told me that he had taken his little girl to this magic park whenever he could, and the only thing she EVER complained about was that she was too little to reach up to the drinking fountain. As we drove up to this beautiful park, (it was snowing a little bit), he came around to open my door and help me down, and when I looked up, I saw the park… his baby’s park, and I burst into tears saying, ‘You built a drinking fountain here for her, didn’t you?’ I was right, under a huge beautiful hanging tree, was a tiny silver drinking fountain. I left Joe to get to it, and on it, it said, dedicated to HER and all the others who were too small to get a drink.
So he wrote a song for her, and I wrote a song for him… ‘This is your song, ‘ I said to the people, but it was Joe’s song. Thank you, Joe, for the most committed song I ever wrote. But more than that, thank you for inspiring me in so many ways. Nothing in my life ever seems as dark anymore, since we took that drive.
A lesson for us all to count our blessings.
Enjoy… until next week.