In a world where a musician’s gifts are often scrutinized by others, there is one special person that stands out in my mind, a man who puts on quite a show of faith in God and the human race. This is the story of my friend, Gary Revolution.
About 7 years ago, I moved from New York to Florida, and I had to go to a doctor for an annual checkup. I did not know where to go so I took my chances at a public health facility. In the stifling heat, I was alone in a crowd of people filled with rage due to the long lines in front of the medical buildings. As I joined the others’ arguing on the outside benches, I came across a young man who was strumming a guitar. He was laughing and smiling at everyone who walked by, making light of this most annoying situation. Out of boredom I started to watch him, and my angry face turned into a relaxed smile. When he noticed me, he came over and introduced himself as Gary Revolution.
I joked with him, asking if he was there to entertain the pissed off crowds. He laughed and told me that he wished that was the case. It turns out that Gary was fighting a terminal illness which left him weak and often bed ridden. Of course I got upset at his answer, but he told me to “smile” and that his music was the peace to his soul. Awesome, I thought. What a positive guy! As he headed for the medical building, I thought to myself, Maybe I would be able to get an interview with him on our Community Saint Radio podcast in the future.
During the next year, I kept meeting up with Gary, at local hang outs, libraries, and coffee shops. He was often looking tired, but still laughing, singing and encouraging others to be happy with the gifts of health and life that they had. Some just looked away ignoring his presence, but I, along with some other followers sat and spoke with him while he strummed his guitar. His faith shined on with his music, and touched my heart. What gifts of hope he could bring to those who suffered, but despite his wonderful attitude, I felt sad. It would be yet another year before I saw him again.
Recently on my night shift, I was surprised to see him walk into the store. He was with a friend who appeared in a rush and in a foul mood. With his guitar still hanging on his back, Gary looked drawn and thin as he tried to look at the various items at his own pace. As he approached my register, I quietly said hello to him, and he managed a smile. He struggled to shake my hand and told me he would love to talk to me, but had to go and would be in touch. I remember his face as he left the store; tired and sad. He wanted to play and sing for everyone. That made him happy…that made him well. I wondered whether I would see him again. I wondered if he was feeling OK.I wanted to hear about how many others’ lives he touched with his music since I last sat with him. He could be such an inspiration to those who suffer, so I prayed for him to keep playing and laughing away his illness.
Since then, I have looked for him in the neighborhood, but without much luck. I am hoping that I will run into him again, healthy, happy and ready to share his gifts of music to the world. Wherever you are, Rock on, Gary Revolution! Let your music be the peace to your soul.