“The true artist sees through friends, prayers, doubts and wine.” -Randy Elrod
To Sam, thanks so much for opening my eyes, albeit in a raw and shocking way, to the birds and the bees. By pulling out your penis in the back of the school bus in sixth grade and showing it to Suzie saying, “Let’s make a baby”, you were the first to expose the ignorance of my religious teaching. When I promptly blurted out, “that’s not how you make babies, my Mom and Dad told me they prayed for me and that’s how I was born,” the back of the bus grew awkwardly quiet and you hurriedly zipped your pants, and I didn’t really know why, but suddenly I felt like a fool.
To Brad, with one flick of your scissors, you changed my life forever. I had never met anyone like you. You loved music, fashion and hairdressing. Thanks for making me let you totally change my hairstyle and my clothes. It was like some sort of magical makeover. The next day at school for the first time in my life, everyone saw me. Not only did the most popular girl in school ask me if I could give her a ride home, but after seventeen very long years, I felt like a normal person. I still don’t know if it was good or bad, but I do know I was never the same. You gave me the confidence to audition for Spring Follies and my life and calling as a stage musician began.
To Tom, you taught me how to see. As we backpacked together in the North Georgia mountains, you stopped and pointed out the extraordinary in the most ordinary things. Long before I encountered Thoreau, it was you who taught me the difference between looking and seeing. You helped me doubt my religious teaching in the most healthy of ways. Watching creation dance caused me to question why I was not allowed to do so. Seeing the wonder and freedom in nature caused me to question religious legalism and control. You helped my artistic eyes see that every sunset is tragical, a happy sadness. That its okay to doubt, its okay to be depressed, and its okay to be devastated. That putting words and music and pigment to the utter devastation of life is part of what being an artist is all about. Perhaps the most important part.
Your friend, Randy