Madeline McCarthy is about to turn 101 years old, and today the country road along Pye Acres was officially named in her honour. McCarthy Road is a fitting tribute to a century of love and respect for the countryside she calls home. Madeline is our lovely neighbour, and she is just as sharp today as she was when she lived her youthful adventures on hundreds of acres of land that borders her namesake. The title to our 138 acres was signed to the founding owner in the late 1800’s, and in the early 1940s, Madeline proudly took over its deed. Cathy and I are now the third owners, inspired by the values that Madeline established here before us — pride in family, and pride in land where family is raised. Perhaps that’s why there were tears in Madeline’s eyes on the day that we told her a baby Charlie was on the way, and so too were construction plans for our family home on her previous property. It’s flattering that Madeline enjoyed experiencing the Pye family house-raising as much as we did last year. We are also proud that Charlie and Jack will remember spending time with the lady who put her heart and soul into our property and her name on the road that leads right to it.
The Pye Acres Blog is about the pursuit of dreams. On Friday night, another one came true. Dwight Yoakam autographed my jacket.
My quest for Dwight’s autograph spans 22 years – ever since Grade 10 when I commissioned a high school buddy to produce a custom-made Dwight jacket. Painted on an old Levi’s jacket (later tailored to fit my adult life), this tribute piece was ready in time for the 1991 “If There Was A Way” tour when Dwight came to Toronto’s Massey Hall. A 1,000 miles of travelling to 12 more Dwight concerts later, my jacket was escorted onto the music icon’s tour bus and he graciously signed it.
The jacket wouldn’t be complete without the ink from the major musical talent that currently surrounds Dwight, including Mitch Marine, Brian Whelan, Jonathan J. Clark and Eugene Edwards. All of these guys are class acts, and I’m proud to have their autograph on the Dwight jacket as well.
What is it about an autograph? Perhaps the determination for an autograph is the icebreaker that dedicated fans need to simply say thank you. Fans buy albums, go to concerts, join fan clubs and order merchandise but do the artists know how much we admire their work? Do they know how their dedication to their craft and skilful attention to detail makes a difference in our daily lives? Will they ever know that a certain lyric or melody helped their fans sort through the highs and lows of life? Do the artists know how much they motivate thousands in a concert crowd to go home and give the 100 percent that we saw them deliver on stage?
Dwight’s music ignites my soul, and his tenacity inspires my life. He is a major role model, and my careful attention to his passion and perseverance has served as a catalyst for dreams beyond an autographed Dwight jacket.
P.S. For more on my tribute to Dwight and his 3 Pears album, see: https://pyeacres.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/3-pears-for-a-new-kitchen/