Courtney Patton / Blog

thinking back to my college days

(Previously posted July 13, 2011)

Yesterday after work I went for a run down my county road. I had recently found my iPod and recharged it giving myself a smorgasbord of amazing jams to jog to.

One of the first songs that came on was “Used to Be”, a Tom Skinner tune done big by The Great Divide on their Break in the Storm album.

Instantly I time-traveled…

I was a freshman in college, 2000-2001 when they would play sold-out two-night stands at our local bar.

My friends and I would rush out of class scrounge up any money we had leftover from our allowances or from trading old CDs at Hastings and run down to the box office to get our tickets as soon as they went on sale.

Back then I wasn’t too cool to stand right in front of Mike McClure, with my non-blinking stare, while he ripped on the guitar and sang all of my favorite songs.

I didn’t cheer or clap, I just let the music overwhelm me while inside my soul was doing the wave.

It’s never been a secret that the only reason I even have copyrighted songs is because of that man.

I sent a shoddy cassette tape I had recorded at church at the ripe age of 18 with some poorly written and even more poorly played songs to a P.O. Box in Oklahoma.

I heard back from him not more than a week later and he offered any advice he could and helped me along my path to doing something with my music.

Seven years later I took those old tunes to the DirtyBird in Norman and let Mike produce my first album.

It gave birth to better songwriting, better guitar playing but a more self-deprecating spirit.

I realized I had a lot of work to do and discovered my skin was still too thin to take the rejection that comes along with chasing dreams.

It wasn’t two years later and I had songs I was proud of, a band that I cherished, and a producer that noticed my musical maturity.

I still haven’t finished that album.

I don’t know if it’s the lack of money, the insecurity, or the fear of failure that keeps me from completing something I have every right to be more proud of.

I do know one thing, I still let the music overwhelm me.

As I ran down that county road I thanked God for music and the memories it recirculates.

I thanked Him for college, for my music-loving friends, for Mike McClure, for The Great Divide, for every other band that moved me enough to inspire a spirit unwilling to quit.

I can’t wait for the end of October, and The Great Divide’s reunion tour, when I can once again scrounge up my money and rush to the box office to get my tickets, so I can stand in front of Mike McClure, with my non-blinking stare, while he rips on the guitar and sings all my favorite songs.