Once in a lifetime


John Deaton - Guest Columnist



It’s been a while since I wrote anything that was published in the paper, but this week, I felt compelled to put down my thoughts on a wonderful thing. Namely, Jordan Smith winning The Voice.

I’ve never actually paid much attention to The Voice, until I heard that one of our locals was going to be on the show, and when I found out, I decided I was going to tune in and cheer them on, win or lose.

From the first song I heard from Jordan, I knew that he was no ordinary singer/performer. His version of ‘Chandelier’ was pretty amazing, and the fact that he got all four chairs to turn made me think that hey, this young man really does have something.

Each week, Jordan proved himself to be able to adapt to different types of material, and also put his own spin on it, with amazing results. One of those songs was by one of my favorite bands, Queen. When I first heard he would be doing a Queen song, I thought, wow, they are a hard act to cover, but after hearing the first verse, I knew Jordan was again going to bring down the house and cause utter havoc on iTunes.

So here I was, never really being a fan of the show, but I’ve always loved music, played in local bands all my life and love it when someone from our area attains any form of. And I’m watching the show each week, just like everyone else I know, and cheering Jordan on hoping that people everywhere see him as we do, a once in a lifetime singer that is meant to sing, as much as the rest of us are meant to breathe. Not only that, but Jordan does all this with humility and such a strong personality that seems to draw people in.

I absolutely have no doubt that the right person won, not just because he can sing — an understatement — but because of who he is and what he stands for. He is bringing pride and feelings of accomplishment to everyone in Harlan County, at a time when we need it. Things have not been great for us here, and bright spots come few and far between, but our people are resilient, strong and caring, and supportive to people like Jordan and others who shine a light not only on themselves, but on us too.

I expect to hear many more big things from Jordan, and I have no doubt that his face and voice will be seen and heard for many years to come on the national and international stage. I for one intend to support him and be a fan, and I know I’m not alone in those thoughts. I have read many topics and posts and blogs over the past few weeks and people all over the world have become fans and have shown their support to someone that makes them sit up and take notice when he walks on stage.

I gotta say this about the coolest thing to happen in a long time here in Harlan County, and we all have Jordan to thank. God bless you Jordan, and we all look forward to seeing you show the whole world what a wonderful thing happened when you walked out on The Voice stage.

Christmas is coming up and I always like to share this little piece of poetry that I wrote a few years back as it seems to fit every year that comes along.

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house,

There was a big ol fat cat chasing speedy the mouse.

The stockings were full of candy and toys,

To make the children hyper for three days, yes the girls and the boys.

My wife was trying to sleep, and me I was too,

I was so doggone tired, I left on one shoe.

The tree was lit up, and the house lights were too

I’d be paying a big juice bill, for the next month or two.

While trying to sleep, I heard a noise on my roof,

Yep, it sounded remotely like the click of a hoof.

So I went out the back door, with my squirrel gun in tote,

Tripped over the extension cords, got a hair-raising jolt.

I looked on the roof to see what was there,

It looked like the form of a man on a mare.

But what to my swelled up from no sleep eyes did appear,

Were a big ol fat man, and about twelve big ol deer.

I thought to myself, man what did I eat,

That would make me see things, like this man and deer meat.

As I took up aim, with my old twelve gauge gun,

That ol man and his deer started to run.

But what really blowed my mind, and made me almost cry,

Was when that old feller and his deer took to fly.

With about as much speed as a dog shot with salt,

They took to the sky, even as I cried halt.

I heard him say something as he took to the skies,

But I couldn’t hear what he said over the neighbor’s dog’s cries.

He made one more pass as he flew over my head,

He said, hey man, I’m Santa, don’t shoot that hot lead.

I rubbed my eyes briskly, and took a good look,

And do you know what, that was that chubby old kook.

I went in the house, with stars in my eyes,

Laid back down in bed, and started to cry.

My wife said hey John, sweetie are you okay,

And I said, yeah, go to sleep, it’s just been a long day.

With all of the stuff going on in our land,

I just got a dose of magic, from a little fat man.

I sit up and rubbed all the tears from my jaws,

Here I am, 58 years old, and I believe in Santa Claus. Merry Christmas!

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John Deaton

Guest Columnist

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