Looking Forward To…

My father and I had a conversation several years ago that we both share a fondness for “looking forward to”. We both enjoy greatly “looking forward to” a special event that is happening in the future and that “looking forward to” the event was a major part of the excitement.

Garrison Keillor is coming to Tucson, Arizona this week and my wife 6 months ago bought me and her tickets (mostly for me and her wanting to see me happy). Why 6 months in advance? I seriously doubt there was a run on the tickets. Maybe she knows that “looking forward to” is part of the fun for me.

Who is Garrison Keillor? Keillor is the famous writer and story teller who brings 3 million radio listeners since 1974 every week via public radio the variety show called A Prairie Home Companion. Keillor, the show’s creator, is most notably known by his fans for his skit called News from Lake Wobegon where he details his life as a boy growing up in Minnesota.

Keillor started the show because he felt the mid-west needed its own Grand Ole’ Opry much like Nashville and the South already had. The Prairie Home Companion was also the same title for the movie about Keillor featuring himself along with Lily Tomlin, Meryl Streep, Lindsay Lohan, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Kline, John C. Reilly, and Woody Harrelson.

There was also a documentary made called The Man On The Radio In The Red Shoes that outlines the history of The Prairie Home Companion. Tonight, I am watching that documentary because that is what a person does when he is looking forward to something special.

Looking forward to seeing Garrison Keillor also reminds me of 2 other things beyond the obvious of being entertained by one of my favorite artists: the first is my great friend Scott Smith of Franklin, Tennessee. Scott and I have many things in common: our passion for travel, spending time with friends and a respect for life as it was years ago. Scott and I also have a shared fondness for Garrison Keillor.

The other thing seeing Garrison Keillor reminds me of is my first time in New York City. Basically, my first time in New York City was during a drive from Red Bank, New Jersey to Westport, Connecticut to visit with my friend Richard Gordon and his family. During that drive, it was a Saturday afternoon in the early fall as the leaves were turning and I drove through New York City. I turned on the radio of that rental car, sipped my coffee and listen to Garrison Keillor share stories of his life growing up in Minnesota, his career in New York City and how he enjoyed seeing America.

So now you know I enjoy “looking forward to” but know that in fact it could be the smallest of events. It only matters that I have time to look forward to it. The event could be dinner at a friend’s house scheduled a week ahead, lunch with a co-worker scheduled a week ago, a trade show in Fort Worth, Texas planned over a year in advance, a night out with my wife planned six months ahead, a board meeting scheduled 3 months ago or riding bikes with my daughter after work today that we planned only last night.

As I am spending my time now thinking about my father’s and my conversation sharing our like for “looking forward to”, my wife booking tickets 6 months in advance just because she knew it would make me happy, remembering my good friend Scott Smith, my time driving through New York City to visit my business role model and friend Richard Gordon, watching a documentary called The Man On The Radio In The Red Shoes and my bike ride with my daughter around the block for in her words a “whole 4 times” after the sun had set, I can say with great certainty…

Yes, “looking forward to” is definitely a major part of the excitement.