After I graduated high school, I moved to Ft. Wayne, Indiana for college. In Ft. Wayne at what was then called the Ft. Wayne Coliseum I saw David Lee Roth on the Eat'em and Smile tour. I had the privilege of seeing Steve Vai and Billy Sheehan put on their now legendary live show, and it was at that point I decided I was going to play bass, and put my heart into it. It was literally life changing for me, as I left college where I pursued a career in music. Returning home I met my wife of 25 years in the back of my drummers van. I now have two beautiful daughters. The youngest is a 16 year old guitarist who aspires to go into broadcasting and the oldest is almost 21 year old vocal performance and music technology major at Capital University. So, cut to the present. Every year this when my family takes our vacation, as it is the beginning of summer and it is the first chance we have to reign in our busy lives of school, learning to drive, projects, etc. Usually we just take stay-cations, but this year I decided to take the girls to Sweetwater Music's GearFest. It was great. Sure, they get some of my money but the deals were just off the wall good and we got to see a lot of neat things and talk to some cool people. Billy was there, doing a 1 hour seminar. It was as great as you may think, but later he was in the Hartke tent signing autographs. When I got there, there was one other fellow talking to him. I waited politely and when Billy was done he extended this hand with a firm handshake (I didn't imagine how strong his hands are) so I requested that he auto-graphed my pass. I told him my story, introducing my youngest daughter. We talked for a few minutes about life and art, but I didn't want to take all of the man's time and bore him to death. The thing is, he was extremely gracious, and he told me that my story made his day. For such a huge talent, he seemed so humble. He gave me one of his limited Edition Winery Dogs v-picks (which was funny, cause I showed him a V-pick I was carrying). Hell, I was so gobsmacked that I almost walked away without a picture, until he asked if I would like one. Well, the end of the story that he doesn't know is that I am a diabetic with neuropathy, so my playing is not what it used to be. Kinda hung it up. But he made clear to me that it isn't about how good I am, or how good he is, or anyone else. It is about my art, my creativity. This is a lesson I taught my daughters all along, but still one I seemed to forget. So...I am getting my stuff out again, dusting off my bass, messing with the rig and firing up my pedal board. Thanks Billy... That said, just spending the day with my daughters talking about art and music like we did in that environment was just an experience I will never forget. We have decided to make this a yearly event for us, as our family getaway. On the drive up and back we joked and laughed so much together...a dad's dream come true!