When Audrey and I had our first child I had been playing music for 24 years, 13 of which were on the actual road. I mentioned before that my dad was a great dad when I was a kid and I wanted to be that too. He was always around us when we were kids.
“He told us it’s not quality time, it’s quantity time. He was right.” -Jim
When we were playing baseball or football, there were always a lot of kids and my Dad. He had skills, so the other kids loved having him. When we knew we were pregnant with Matt, I decided to quit playing “out” and to focus on being a Dad. I was the dad that was always around. I joked that at parent meeting there were always a dozen Moms and I.
When it came to stopping my music for this new chapter, I had no second thoughts; it could be someone else’s turn. I was a Band Director then, so when we came to DSM no one knew of my “past life.” Rieman’s hired me as a Band expert. So it was kind of behind me. It was like I had retired. But between the store and playing in Church, my name got out, and I have “emerged” like the butterfly from the cocoon.
I have filled in with a few bands; have played some gigs at the Playhouse, and other musicals (Ogden, Nevada, and Newton) but what excites me now is I have started playing with a band called Get Off My Lawn. They are guys like me, older, that still can rock. They are established so I don’t have to do that “starting out” thing. I used to teach lessons but that fire went out a long time ago. I just don’t enjoy it anymore.
Now its all about the grandkids (If we’d known how much fun they are we’d have had them first!) and of course our kids. Audrey and I have adjusted to the “Empty Nester” thing pretty well, and enjoy being able to be together. I have become more physical (after taking 35 years off from healthy living!): distance running, strenuous exercises, eating better. I recently saw a T.V. program about Centenarians and I told Audrey that’s my ambition.
At the end of everyday, my life has been unbelievably blessed, and though I suppose it would have been nice to “make it” I don’t think I would change anything!
It is a privilege to have both of these individuals in my life and around to call my family. This project and Jim’s story has only added further meaning to my life and to my own personal pursuit of my biggest and most wildest dreams! Thank you, again, Papa Dunn, for living your life and chasing your dreams with no regrets and so much love! It has been an honor sharing your story!