• Eric Dahl

A Season

It’s interesting when you’re younger and you don’t fully grasp the meaning of statements. Now I understand “A Season” far too well, as I’m certain many of you do as well. My 12-year-old daughter was recently talking to me about how some of her original friends at school acted differently now and weren’t as close as they once were. Now she has different friends that are close to her. I tried to explain this statement as it was once explained to me that some people only come in to our lives for a season. Although at her age they can certainly converge again by high school. In my personal life and career, I have had many people that have passed through my life that have played a roll in my journey for a season and then moved on, or I have. And I have probably played that role in many peoples lives as well. Media people are frequently gypsies, much like military personnel except we primarily move around with in the United States and not over all the world. Many TV people that I began working with in Missouri, Nevada, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Tennessee are now spread all over the country. I try to stay in contact with as many of them as I can and some of them reach out to me to check in which I appreciate. My goal throughout my career has always been to nurture and grow staffers as I feel I have been treated through the years. Many bosses and General Managers shared their knowledge and expertise with me even though they only passed through a season in my life – 34 total in 35 years. But each left some kind of impact good or bad and I tried to learn from the good in each that would provide it. They are all teachers and mentors in some way just like the ones we had in school and college. Herb Taylor, an instructor for Mass Communications at SEMO, had a profound impact on me that I didn’t realize until years later. After a short stint at Belmont University I came back to SEMO to pursue a degree in Mass Communications and Taylor was one of my early professors. I remember Herb pacing the front of the classroom chain smoking cigarettes (yes that was allowed in universities in the 80’s still) while he pontificated about Marshall McLuhan’s theories. He would also play NPR radio excerpts, turn off the lights in the classroom and have us use our theater of the mind to visualize. In Herb’s prior career, before becoming a professor, he was an interviewer of high-profile celebrities. I was only around Herb Taylor through my college time and briefly while I worked in Cape, but the season that I was in his presence changed me. The same with friends, some of which I have had virtually all my life and others that stop in and then have a recurring role years later. Jaye Butler was one of these as a friend when we were both teenagers and then marriages, careers and locations separated us. In the past few years Jaye and I became close friends again as we are both professionals in our careers and share a love of playing music and music gear. Jaye would come down to Nashville from Sikeston, Missouri to attend NAMM shows and hangout. Butler unfortunately passed away this past December, but his intelligence, humor and friendship have left a huge mark on me and will continue to throughout my life. Each of us needs to consider the hundreds or thousands of people that pass through our lives and maybe we are only in touch with them for “A Season?” And if so what impact or influence did we leave while we there in that moment? Will our friends, family and co-workers reflect back on how we helped or guided them many years from now? Each year, as long as you don’t live on the West Coast, contains four separate seasons of the year with a variety of colors and temperatures. “A Season” isn’t a very long span of time, but sometimes it is long enough if we at least strive to be the best people that we can and share that with others. Some of the people that have had the shortest seasons in my life left the deepest impacts that I still use today, and I remember them for that!

Every Season is another Opportunity for Change!