Meet Grandin - He Who Owns the Most Toys Wins! Part 1

I grew up in a musical family.  It was the essence of who we were.  It’s what we loved: dancing, singing, playing the guitar…we loved anything musical!  I began singing in church at an early age.  My father was the choir director at our church and taught choral music at my high school.  My mother, she was a violinist with exquisite talent.  She earned a prestigious spot in the Columbus Symphony Orchestra.  My sister and I played the violin at an early age.  I must admit that I secretly suppressed my animosity of the violin out of respect for my mother.  But my mother’s intuition prevailed and I started playing the trumpet in sixth grade, which I played through college.

My parents owned a music store.  It wasn’t always easy but there were certain benefits.  Like getting my first guitar of choice!  I knew music was my calling and I wanted to make good on my childhood dream.  Now music was not my first career choice, that came much later in life.  Making a successful music career is not easy, that’s for sure, but I wouldn’t change it.  Music is what I enjoy doing and talking about and I’d rather be doing this than anything else.

Music is not my only passion.  In fact, one may consider I fiddle with much more.  I have adopted a well know mantra: “He who owns the most toys wins!”  I am a motor enthusiast.  Seriously.  Anything with a motor will instantly grab my attention!  Some of the ‘motor toys’ I’ve had the privilege to own: a ’67 Pontiac GTO muscle car, ’70 4WD Ford Bronco, ’77 Datsun 2807, ’81 Corvette,  Hydrosport Bass Boat, '81 Masercraft Competition Skiboat, mini bikes, dirt bikes, Honda Nighthawk street bikes, four wheelers…yada, yada, yada.  There are so many more.

After 49 years, everything changed.  One day I was walking and the next day I was not.  My passion for motors leads me to the fondness of flying single engine general aviation airplanes.  In 2006, I was pinned beneath the collapse of my aircraft that fell from 80 feet altitude.  Paralyzed at L1 vertebra, one may ask: “What about your toys?  What about your hobbies?"  My answer: just more reason to enjoy my toys more!  In fact, my injury expanded my thirst for adventure.  I wanted to try more, adapt more, and experience all that I had put off.  My eyes were wide open to my ability to pursue life.  I was never reluctant to return to my crazy adventures.   There will always be music and motors in my life!


Editors Note:  Follow Grandin’s Journey with Part 2 of his story - “Life After SCI - The New Toys”

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