This post is continued from Part One: The Purchase 20 Years in The Making.
“Welcome to my neighborhood, Hi, I’m Kevin.” He smiled and offered his hand. I walked up and shook it, smiling.
“Hi Kevin, I’m Annie.”
He pointed at the six-seater golf cart parked on the street. “Shall we begin the tour of the neighborhood?”
He turned on his phone and asked me what music I wanted to listen to as we all drove.
What music do I say? I don’t want to appear dumb and uncultured. Refer to him, ask him what he has on his phone,
“Um, nothing too crazy. What do you have?”
He scrolled through a few selections and I instantly saw one of my favorite soundtracks – “Oh! Lord of the Rings! Perfect!” We agreed on that one.
As the cart sped – I mean puttered – along the street, we started chatting about the weather. It really was astonishing how the forecast kept calling for severe storms and here it was blue skies and 75 degrees. PERFECTION.
Quiet. Safe. Idyllic. We passed house after house in his neighborhood and I couldn’t stop smiling. He showed me where Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys used to live and I let it slip that I used to be huge fans of theirs. And Hanson. He gave me the side eye. “Hanson?” I defended them but couldn’t help laughing.
The tour continued, house after house, Kevin regaled us with stories of what the neighborhood used to look like, who designed it, and how perfectly peaceful and wonderful it is to live there.
Then he took us to the ancient Indian burial ground known as “Glass Mounds.” When the developers wanted to build a golf course and apartments here, they made an agreement with Native Americans not to touch this sacred hill. It stands protected now, even though the Smithsonian took quite a bit of pottery and other objects from it in the late 19th century.
The theme music to the Shire started to play as we drove back to the clubhouse. I could not have planned that any better. Then, a familiar face started to pass us on motorcycle.
As it slowed to a stop, Kevin waved. “Hey Mark. How’re you doing? This is Annie, she supported my new album on the Pledge Campaign so I’m giving her a tour of the neighborhood.”
He smiled warmly back and I said my hellos. They chatted back and forth a bit and he drove off.
I laughed incredulously. “Well. That just happened. I’m sitting here with Kevin Max and Mark Stuart just drove by. Totally normal.”
Kevin gave a slight smile and said, “I’m actually surprised he was home, he’s so busy with the Hands and Feet Project lately.”
He parked the cart and we followed him inside the clubhouse for the next phase of the evening: Dinner and a Movie.
The Real Questions
I came with a few questions I just had to know before I left. So after he turned on the movie – one we’d all seen a bazillon times before (perfect for watching and talking at the same time) – I turned and asked the first one.
“Ok, so be honest. Are you tired of all the requests for a dc Talk reunion? I mean, every single time you post on social media, someone asks for one.”
Immediately he answered, “No way! I’d love a reunion tour. I’d love to get the guys back together.”
I grinned and said, “Everyone wants it! You three are musical perfection. From Toby’s rap to Michael’s soul to your British rock…”
He laughed and said, “British rock? I’m from Michigan. But thank you, I do like David Bowie though.”
“Well when you put you 3 together it is amazing, that’s all I’m saying.” I finished.
Then later I asked the other question I was dying to know.
“How do you take a poem and turn it into a song? I have a ton of poetry and would like nothing more than to see it put to music, like Jewel did.”
“Nope. I don’t. Poetry is poetry. A song is a song. I write music and put lyrics to the songs, my poems stand alone.”
Over an amazing steak dinner in the private theater, we discussed everything from end times theology (“I Wish We’d All Been Ready”) to the Supernatural album to Michael W. Smith. And I even tried miserably to rap one of the verses of “Jesus is Just Alright.”
By the end of the evening, it felt like we were just eating and laughing with a friend. An incredibly talented and famous friend. But still, after the nerves settled down, I wasn’t feeling half as self-conscious anymore.
One thing I respected and appreciated was that Kevin isn’t about being fake. He is genuine and sincere.
When the night came to a close and we waited on the taxi, I just sat in the rocking chair (yup, the club house has a ginormous porch with rocking chairs on it.) speechless. Emotions swirling in my mind. Verbally expressing them was not possible.
I clutched my autographed books and relived the evening in my mind.
Even now, as I type this story, bits and pieces of our conversations replay like a film and I pause the scene, imagining the conversations to continue.
But my biggest regret? I didn’t ask him to sing. What was I thinking?
I was thinking about the artistic musician in front of me who is just like me. Except instead of music, I have a keyboard and a blog. We both have a passion for our art form and a strong desire to not only share this art with the world but maybe even earn a living from it.
I was so impressed with his mind I forgot to ask him to sing.
But now I am also inspired to keep writing and to never give up on my art. And to continue to be genuine with people.
He is going to be doing another Pledge Campaign soon for another album. I might not purchase the same package again, but I will be looking forward to the other levels of sponsorship. And I am definitely going to ask others to join in! This artist is worth it.
And I am still looking forward a dc Talk reunion someday.