A Chairmans Look at Forty

First off, yes I know I kind of stole my title from Jimmy Buffett’s song A Pirate Looks at Forty but I thought it kind of fit.

Anyway, I want to thank Ron Bieber and Nick Bionda for taking time out of there busy schedules to keep our blog here at Walla-Pa-Looza.org going. Both of these guys put a lot of effort into keeping our organization running like clock work. “Our organization” – that’s something I thought I would never say at forty years old. But as many of you know that’s what was created and I could not be happier.

For those of you that have followed the progression of Walla-Pa-Looza you might or might not know that I have been known to bust out some Kid Rock – All Summer Long from time to time with my friends in Always Frantic. Well, I really do love that song and I enjoy the way the song describes growing up here in the midwest, but that song tells just about everyone’s story. I think all of us can recall a time or two that relates to 1989 with short thoughts and long hair. Or at least anyone that is middle aged can.

This past week, I started to do my daily walk around Johnsburg and I started to think about being middle aged. I am not sure about you, but I don’t know what 40 is supposed to feel like. I still love to listen to rock and roll, I love sports and I love reading. I guess the biggest changes are that now I own a home, have a wife, two children and now I look at things in a more reflective way. So being in a reflective state of mind, the song I think is more representative of my life is the song from Kid Rock called Roll On and it’s off the same album, Rock and Roll Jesus. Now, obviously I cannot relate to all of Kid’s money and success, but I can sure as hell relate to life being one big roller coaster and Kid Rock is right – life is like a roller coaster and it reminds me of the grandma in the movie Parenthood and this quote:

Grandma: You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster.

Gil: Oh?

Grandma: Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride!

Gil: What a great story.

Grandma: I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn’t like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.

What Grandma says is true. My life has been a great ride so far. Of course I have stress. I cry and I worry. But I wouldn’t want it any other way. I have learned that everyone has the same worries that I do. When I was 18 years old I worried about having the best clothes, popularity and girls. Now I worry about my children and how they grow up and making sure they have the same great upbringing I had. Sure, my parents weren’t perfect (and neither was I), but I think I am slowly but surely headed in the right direction. Popularity and trying to keep up with the Joneses does not interest me. What interests me these days is making sure that my children understand that life can change at the blink of an eye, so be respectful, show compassion and remind yourself that one day you could be in a situation of need. Trust me, I have seen it happen, so be humble.

I know what you’re thinking Mom – “Our little boy has grown up!”

Nah, he just figured he would write this so everyone thought he has….. just kidding.

By the way, thanks for the birthday wishes and ROLL ON!



  • Just simply proud of the man you have become!

    Comment by Mike Betts — April 12, 2010 @ 7:21 am

  • 40 is only a number. You are not only going in the right direction, but you are also taking a road less traveled which speaks volumes of your character. You’re a good man Charlie Brown!

    Comment by Nick Bionda — April 12, 2010 @ 10:23 am

  • Some amazing words my friend! I am certainly honored to call you a friend! Keep up the great work. You push the rest of us to become better people.

    Comment by Vickie Schutze — April 13, 2010 @ 4:43 pm