A singer/songwriter for whom I had tremendous respect and admiration was the late Michael Smith from Chicago. He’s probably best known for writing The Dutchman, one of the greatest love songs of all time, but he wrote a whole lot of wonderful music. I had the great good fortune to meet him at the Kerrville Folk Festival quite a few years ago and we spent more than an hour visiting. He was one of my heroes and I know I passed most of our time together just trying not to babble and drool which, if he noticed, he chose to ignore. As we talked, he mentioned having been a part of a memorial tribute concert honoring fellow Chicago singer/songwriter, Steve Goodman who had passed away back in the 80s. He talked of being awe-struck when Bonnie Raitt came backstage to the green room with a couple of members of her band. He said she walked around the room introducing herself… “Hi, I’m Bonnie”…and visiting with folks. When she said hello to him, he said he could barely speak because she was one of his heroes and he laughed appreciatively at how gracious she had been in ignoring his awkwardness. I shake my head now, as I did then, at the fact that this person for whom I held such deep respect had people about whom he felt the same. And the thing that we hold in such high regard is the fact that this other person is capable of creating so much beauty in the world through their music…their words and their melodies. Of all the wonderful things humans are capable of, to me, this is the most miraculous. Let’s not take music for granted, it truly is a miracle.

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