It’s a bit late for this post, since the context was from about a month ago. But I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.
Recently someone came home.
Chris Stapleton, award winning country singer/songwriter born and raised in Johnson County, Kentucky, made a visit (and a donation and a free concert and a commercial) in his home town of Paintsville, KY.
Now, I’ve never heard his music (not by choice, I listen to my iPod mostly, but out of laziness) and I’ve never met him. But I’m sure he’s a great talent and a wonderful person. He graduated several years before me from the same high school as I did.
His return home was met with much fanfare and excitement. The whole of paintsville was filled with signs reading: “Welcome Home Chris Stapleton” and “Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle” (his alma mater high school, Johnson Central, mascot is the golden eagles). In fact, “Home of Chris Stapleton” was even added to ther “Welcome to Paintsville, KY” sign.
This whole deal got me thinking. I was been in the area and went to Johnson Central as well, albeit sever years after he did. While I live a county away, I lived and and learned in grew in Johnson County until I was 24, when I got married. No big deal thousands had done that (and survived. Ha.). But my first thought was, “I wish I were a popular enough author to be greeted with open arms like this guy!”
But then I realized something. Authors don’t get that treatment. If I reached Stephen King levels of success (he is, in my eyes, the top), I would still never be received with as much fanfare as Chris Stapleton was.
Sure. He did donate a butt load of instruments and equipment to the JCHS band. He also gave a free concert at the high school. He also has a majestic and epic beard. Yes that’s a quality.
But then, the more I think of it, I probably wouldn’t leave long enough to be welcomed back with little more than “how was your trip?”
Anyway, that’s my random thought I’d the day.
Anyone famous grow up in your hometown? Have they done anything for their community?