THIS Is What It’s All About

This week, I experienced the absolute best in people, and in some instances, it brought out the best in me.

I was invited to help promote the area appearances of the band Kiros by my friend Kevin Swadinsky. Not having heard of them, I did some research, and found out they are a Christian rock band, that spreads a positive message to their fans. The week actually started last week, when Kevin and I went to the Youth United at The Dream Center. There, I saw the room that Kiros would play in on Wednesday and met the youth Pastor, Corey, and really liked what I saw in how he has a house band play for the kids and the fun he instills in the evening.

This week, I took off work on Tuesday to go to Kevin’s house and meet the band, who had arrived the night before. He let them stay at his place for the time they were here, and most of the Peoria team was on hand to start working on how we were going to get through the next few days. Kevin and his wife were making breakfast for everyone and the house was full of people. We all helped move the band and their equipment to a recording studio in Bartonville, and loaded them in, then hung around while they worked on a new track.

Wednesday, I left work early and went down to the Youth United to help load in the gear and setup the stage. Once the band came on, there was a pretty large amount of kids cheering them on. It was a great night. Afterward, we all went to the Fieldhouse for an after show party.

Thursday, we moved everything again, to Five Points Auditorium in Washington. This is a really professional room. And the stage setup was amazing. It really took a lot of work to get it all set up, but it looked incredible. What Bill Keister did with the sound was nothing short of perfection. What a pro! The down side was that it was only attended by a handful of people, but that didn’t stop Kiros from playing like it was packed room. Barry, the lead singer, after the set, testifies to the audience his faith in God and invites people to join him by inviting Christ into their hearts.

But that’s not the point of this Blog.

I’m not a religious person. I don’t buy into the Bible as a literal book. I have my beliefs, but I keep that to myself, for the most part, but this week really affected me. I was so moved by what Pastor Corey does at Youth United, I pulled him off to the side and asked if I could volunteer there. What he does for these kids, especially in a world where so many kids are allowed to be disillusioned and unguided really got into me. I’m going  to make a few visits over the next few weeks and see if there’s a place for me top help out.

Kevin’s crew, The Nobz, mostly made up of high school kids, were totally professional in how they worked this week. Maddie, David, Jacob, Paul; It’s hard to imagine these are teenagers. They’re smart, hard working, articulate and just cool kids. I’m happy to call them my friends.

The band, Barry, Tyler, Ryan and Doug are just the greatest guys, and I can say that having been around some of the most famous, professional musicians for a lot of years. These guys really put up with a lot of shuffling around, playing to an empty room, long hours in the studio and never, one time, complained. They left that to their Roadie, Chandler, who I gave as hard a time as I could, all in fun, but in truth, I can’t wait ’til they come back again. Chandler was as cool as any friend I’ve ever had. I think I actually miss him a little.

Kevin’s neighbor, Jim, a devout follower of Jesus and Pastor, and who rides with a Christian Motorcycle group did something for me that I don’t know how I can ever make up for. He took my joking challenge about needing a car and going to Church one time if one would show up in my driveway, and found me a car. I go look at it tomorrow with him. That is something, I can’t put into words, how much that means to me. How truly important that I have a car, and how seemingly impossible it was going to be for me to find one, and this guy that barely knows me, that I debate religion with all the time, just like that, took care of me. No less profound, I was given a car seat and a booster seat for my kids earlier in the week by my friends.

Mostly, though, I have to say something about Kevin. He footed the bills for almost everything. The food, the drinks, The Fieldhouse trips, the production. Everything, and I know it set him back a lot. His wife and his daughter, Cyd are gracious hosts who worked endlessly all week to make sure everyone was fed, had a place to sleep, got to where they needed to go, and every other little detail that needed to be attended to, they were on it. Kiros is a mid range, relatively unheard of band, that’s been together for a long time and they tour and play relentlessly. I don’t know how often they get this kind’ve treatment, but the Peoria crew wanted to make an impression, and I think we did. Something profound happened through all of this and it brought a lot of people together that were all affected by it. I hope the friendships we all made are lasting ones.

I can’t say I’ve ever been more impressed by how a guy I really didn’t know very well has quickly become a friend I’ll have for the rest of our lives. Truly, again, I just don’t have the words, other than to say thank you.


Thank you, Kev!!


From April 11, 2011


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