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Up where we belong

Sat, 2011-03-12 18:07

“Up Where We Belong” is a song from the eighties. It’s sung by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes. It was a pretty popular song in its time. I haven’t heard that song for a VERY long time. Today, while I was cleaning my little cabin in the woods it came on the Radio. I was instantly transported back in time. Back to 1989. This was the year I worked in Grand Bend (the first time), I was hired to be the DJ of Sanders on the Beach. At the time Sanders was the most popular bar. It had three patios, outdoor music, faced Lake Huron and had some of the best sunsets in the world. People would line up for hours, yes hours, on a long weekend to get in and pay a very inflated price for a drink. I was popular. Not because I was good looking or the life of the party, but because I was the DJ of the coolest bar in “the Bend”. I wasn’t a great DJ. There were far better. I was selected by my brother to be ‘the man’.

In an instant this morning, when I heard this song I was whisked back to a very different time. A time of pure young fun, absolute immature stupidity, summer crushes and blanked out nights. I was 19, I was invincible. I went on to work three more summers in the Bend and I always had fun. They weren’t the best times, but they were moments etched into my memory. Moments of new friends and a popularity that I never experienced in my life prior to those summer days at the beach.

I struggle with young people that take jobs that are less then what they want just because it’s “better money”. I am challenged by youth that rush through the days of unbridled possibility. Those days shaped me. They helped me solidify my understanding of right and wrong, maturity and immaturity.

There should be a place in everyones life to play, to be stupid and to be young. That one song reminded me of that. At the end of each night in the “Sandbar”, our dance bar in the basement of Sanders, I would play that Joe Cocker song. The young love of the day would dance, kiss and a sense of calm would envelope me. Somehow I knew that these times were unique, they wouldn’t last, but they were special.

I miss those days, I miss the clean whiteboard. No idea of what was to be written or drawn. Absolutely ignorant to the real struggles or triumphs that would face me over the next 20 years. Why? Because it didn’t matter.

I was up where I belonged. I was the DJ.

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  • Stu Speaks

    Students were very engaged, enthusiastic and excited. Stu is hilarious…seriously. “Humour is never a bad thing” said one student.

    ~Annalisa Varano - Vice Principal - St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    They say a great presenter “leaves them wanting more”. Well, we loved your presentation and the entire team asked me when you will be back! You are truly STUpendous!

    ~Nancy Klensch - Founder of Summit Kids
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is an energetic, entertaining and dynamic presenter. He captures is audiences’ attention and keeps the room engaged for the entire presentation! His stories in his presentation captures everyone at different points, even the teachers!

    ~Sara Meaney - Cobourg Collegiate Institute
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was great! Staff and students felt it really broke the anxiety in the building and we even got cupcakes today from one of the students.

    ~Carrie Rowlandson - William Aberhart High School, Calgary Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was fantastic. There is nothing better than seeing 600 adolescents laughing their heads off. He delivers a terrific message and has the entire audience engaged, thinking, listening and most importantly laughing within seconds, and he keeps it going for over an hour. Thanks again on behalf of the Shores!!

    ~Doug Woods - Vice Principal, Nantyr Shores Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu’s speech did exactly what I hoped it would do when I tried to bring him in: it brought the school together for a good laugh while empowering the student body to be the change they wish to see in their classroom. I feel he hit this goal perfectly.

    ~Steven Fotheringham - Oakville Trafalgar High School
  • Stu Speaks

    I really liked how the speech really just seemed like Stu was telling us funny stories, but he always related it back to the overall message. It didn’t sound like a speech at all, it was as if he was just talking to the crowd. I would say that he is excellent in connecting with the audience and keeping them entertained. There was not a two minute period in Stu’s speech were nobody was laughing. He kept us amused throughout the entire presentation. I thought he was perfect.

    ~James Palloto
  • Stu Speaks

    I would highly recommend Stu, his engaging personality was a real hook for the students and his messages were ones that many of them could identify with. The humour was great and the students shared that they enjoyed the presentation.

    ~Teresa Fowler - W.H. Croxford High School, Airdrie, Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is personable. Students are willing to listen to him. They enjoy listening to him. He has a message, but he is also entertaining. He is fun to listen to and students don’t feel talked down to or preached at.

    ~Tanya Lacey - McKinnon Park Secondary School, Caledonia, ON
  • Stu Speaks

    I was at the OCA conference on May 6th, and I just wanted to thank you on being such a wicked keynote… you definitely put me back in the camp mindset and reminded me of what’s truly important about the up-coming summer. Once again, a job very well done.

    ~Emily Summers
  • Stu Speaks

    The students really enjoyed Stu’s humour and low-key but critical message about getting involved and getting the most out of their High School experience. I would recommend Stu as a speaker who relates well to students, is funny, and gets the message out without preaching.

    Thank you,

    ~Lynn Toye