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Passion is no ordinary word

The news that Peter Gammons, ESPN baseball analyst, is in the hospital "resting in intensive care after undergoing an operation to treat a brain aneurysm" hit me hard this morning. I don't know Gammons personally, but I'm a baseball fan, and if you're much of a baseball fan, you 'know' Gammons.

The reason that Gammons is special is the same reason that the music teacher in Mark Rose's post about Stravinsky is special. Gammons, like the teacher in Rose's fine piece, cares enough about 'his' subject to be able to communicate that passion to others.

People who are lucky enough that their passion and their vocation coincide really are the luckiest people in the world. Keith Richard's continued survival is testimony to this fact. Those people will be successful regardless of monetary or material renumeration, and they will pass on many blessings to those around them (unless they are highly successful bank robbers in which case they might be a little higher on the accrual end than the debit end).

My dad died twenty years ago. He was an art teacher like the teacher mentioned in Rose's piece. In his Art Appreciation course, he knew that the majority of the people in that classroom were there because they HAD to be there. I took the course because I always wanted to see my dad at work. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

To this day, people, who find out that I am John Hutcheson, the son of the art teacher at David Lipscomb many years ago, come up to me and tell me that they were enriched more by that class than almost any other course they took, because he gave them a gift: his passion for art, and an appreciation of something that previously had been little more than decoration.

So, happy recovery Mr. Gammons...and dad, I still miss you.

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About me

  • I'm John H
  • From Salemtown, Tennessee, United States
  • Cruising past 50, my wife and I have reared three kids and several dogs. I work for state government and daily conspire to deflate bureacracy.
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