I come from a fairly large extended family. And obviously all my family members are great influences. So to cram them all in I will break it down generational-ly.
Today's post is about all my cousins.
40 Greatest Influences of the last 40 years #11 The Time-Life Singer Songwriter Collection/Classic Rock
So when I have to put my 2 year old down for a nap I would just say "Alexa, play soft classic rock," and usually is serenaded to sleep quite easily. Sometimes Alexa doesn't cooperate and I then just default to "Play the Eagles," because they actually have 2 hours' worth of good music. It's funny my wife busts my chops for listening to the Eagles so much because I always make a big deal out of how I categorically despise country music and the Eagles are often described as Country-Rock. That is only by happenstance, and not design. By design they are a rock band. Don Henly was from Texas but was in a hurry to get the hell out and start a rock band. Glen Frey was from Detroit Rock City and his voice sounds like it even when singing alongside the twangy chords of "Take it Easy" or "Tequilla Sunrise." And the only reason those country chords are there are because Bernie Leadon was on the of the best guitarist in the business but he just happened to be a country western savant. By design they added Felder and Walsh to be a super Rock band. And by design they ventured in disco fusion which should have been their downfall if they were a country band. But it wasn't. Because they weren't. But I digress.
So I was the last to know. I can be pretty oblivious, but even by my standards this was a glaring, incomprehensible oversight on my part. The kind of thing that makes me doubt if I am even capable of perceiving reality.
40 Greatest Influences of the last 40 years #13 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
So for a bout 3 or 4 years I was member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. It was one of the greatest times in my life. I met a lot of great people including my wife there. Unfortunate it was short lived. I didn't have any more faith as Mormon as I did as a Catholic. I get a lot of funny looks about it but never any direct questions, (except for Cody Shelton, he just came at me with the "You did it because of your wife right?").
I talked a little about how and why I joined the church in a interview I did on my friend Seth's Mental health podcast called "Mental." He was interviewing me about my work as a therapist, but he is also really interested in religious deconstruction. Here is a snippet of the interview when I talk about my decison to join the church.
It’s funny, no one who might read this has ever met Garrett. They have no idea who he is. If you are reading this blog it’s probably because you know me. And you know me because we are family. Or we are old friends. Or we went to high school together. Or we worked together professionally at some point. Or you know one of my family members and feel like you know me because we move in small tight knit social circles and my exploits are legendary(ok probably not the last part).
Robin Williams is one of those influences goes influence on me changed over the course of his own life and how it played out.
Initially as a kid in the 80’s, I like most people, was flabbergasted and enthralled with reruns of Mork and Mindy. Crazy, Zany, fun, fun, fun, Mork.m from Ork. The energy and spontaneity were the first great influence on a spazzy little kid like me.
So you could argue that this guy might belong more on the Not quite top 40 countdown because ultimately I didn’t accept his influence. At least not in the way that Could have profoundly changed my life and made at least my more moderate wildest dreams come true. But even though I didn’t take him up on the offer, just the fact that the offer was made for me to reject and the subsequent ramifications has had innumerable implications on my life.
Jeff Reinland is the long time basketball coach at Walla Walla Community college. I will spare you rehashing his bio and resume. Suffice to say he has been doing his thing well enough to have done it at the same place forthe last 26 years.
Growing up I was familiar with him. I had gone to basketball camps at the community college. He had come to career day when I was in high school. Coach Michels is still listed as an assistant coach on his staff to this day.
Now at this point in the countdown I have made it abundantly clear what kind of a basketball player I am. So that makes my experience with coach Reinland even more profound.
In middle school I was in a lot of drama classes. Now it just so happened that that drama class had some legitimate talent in it. Tyson and Brad have gone on to be professional actors in their own right. But back in the day they had to compete with me for on stage supremacy!
You got to love exchange students. With apologies to Shannon Elizabeth, Wilder Valderrama, and the great Sean Sung who gets unfairly shafted in this countdown, the best exchange student I have had the pleasure of cultural exchange with was Piotr from Poland
Piotr was a great guy. His host family had about 6 little kids, and by all accounts he instantly became the quintessential big brother. They all ran up to him and climbed all over him whenever he came home. He hugged them and took care of them, and when they fought each other, he would sternly and yet lovingly rebuke them in the way only a person with a strong Eastern European accent can. Think Bela Karolyi, only young and thin. (Wow, Bela Karolyi, that's quite the obscure dated reference. I might as well bring up Kerri Strug too, just so that I can mention she is the half-sister of Kathy Ireland. Did that for you Von! And I might as well mention my brief crush on Shannon Miller whom the Spanish dubbed "The Porcelain Princess." Kim Zmeskal anyone? I am so very old.)
Way to much has already been said about Seinfeld, so I will not even bother to introduce it.