Volkswagen Van to the Rolls...and the Story goes something like this...and is dedicated to each and every professor who taught me at SWOSU during my stay...
Hoyt Axton and myself were sitting in room 714 of Hoyt's favorite hotel in Universal City back in the seventies shooting the breeze over a bottle of Jose Cuervo and talkin' about the future...( Actually, it was my future we were contemplating as Hoyt's was pretty well set...) We discussed what the coming years may bring for me...and, as Hoyt put it, "How one would change with it." Hoyt recommended that I always have an Ace in the Hole...and that I should not depend solely on a volatile, undependable, and unstable music industry to carry the weight of the years to come...At the time it was meaningless jargon flying in one ear and out the other...We talked little about any possibilities concerning other careers, and Pharmacy never entered the conversation...(Christ...we had our own personal pharmacies in those days...) But, that particular conversation with Hoyt held a place in my mind for many years...I soon found out just how correct Hoyt had been...The music industry is, at best, unreliable...It's no wonder so many fathers shriek in horror when their daughters come home with a musician of any kind. ( Reality note here, In truth, I earned more money before getting out of bed this morning than the music industry afforded me in the first twenty-five years I slaved at it, no exaggeration...) In any event, some years later, I realized quite suddenly that I was earning far below the standard poverty level, and that most welfare recipients were doing better than I financially...A change in the future, as Hoyt had so eloquently predicted so many moons before, was something that had to be dealt with...and dealt with quick...I was rapidly plummeting in an irreversible spiral into the tar pit of financial despair.
Since I had never finished the eighth grade, it took me two years to drag myself through the maze of getting a genuine High School diploma ..The whole idea of Pharmacy College did seem to be a little on the hopeless side at the time, however, "One never knows until one gives it a try.." "After all, if I ever did get to a Pharmacy College, All they could say was no...!"
To make a very long story short...8 years later I had managed to graduate with 3 degrees under my belt...One in Music, One in Psychology and, last but not least, one in Pharmacy...Pharmacy I take most seriously...I treat it with respect...And, Pharmacy also allowed me to utilize the earnings to build my music companies, which in turn, led me directly back to my one and only lot in life...Guitar and Songwriting...And, although I practice pharmacy very little now, and only then to stay in tune with the many new drugs hitting the market on a weekly basis, ninety--nine-point-nine percent of my time is now spent enjoying the wonders of music again, recording, and traveling about the world without having to worry about cash...
Pharmacy was a good choice, a smart choice, and the right choice...The Universities and Pharmacy College I attended treated me with the highest regard and respect. It was by far the most difficult challenge I had ever undertaken...The seemingly endless 14 hour days of study and research kept my scattered mind in check...I had a fine time moving through the labyrinth of knowledge year after year to reach the end conclusion...I once again learned that helping others is always more rewarding than helping yourself...I met many new and life-long friends who accepted me for more than just an aging singer-songwriter...It again opened the doors that closed in my face so many years ago...And, even though I don't practice Pharmacy professionally as much as I did upon graduation, It most assuredly gave me the life back that I was beginning to believe was gone forever...
At the time, Pharmacy for me may have been a foolish dream at the initial time of conception, and a ridiculous, wild-eyed fantasy to some others who thought this foolish notion impossible, but dreams are nothing more than wanting to change where you are into where you think you'd like to be in hopes that your life overall may change for the better...So, chase your dreams regardless of what the unbelievers think or say...If you believe in yourself enough, it won't matter what anyone on the planet says or thinks... Realizing a dream and working to its fruition is worth a thousand unbelieving idiots...Just remember, all it takes is time...and the time is going to pass anyway...Don't waste your time...time runs out for us all...but, most importantly, have a good time along the way.
In retrospect...Indeed, Hoyt Axton gave me some good advice that day in room 714, which I, in turn, pass on to any and all who ask me how to achieve anything...My standard reply, "Doors are easy to open with an Ace in the Hole and a good education." "Believe me, It takes far less time to get the education to help support any addiction, be it music or mayhem, than it does to tackle the addiction alone...!" and, as for my old VW Van...well, it has a new engine now and runs like a top and it always has the Hoyt Axton CD, "Southbound" in the tape machine...
Follow Your Dream and You Will Never Get Lost
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The Guthrie Thomas
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