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Chapter 12: The Footprints of God

 

basset hound in snowBIRDIE –
Rebecca and I served in two churches, the first for five years, the second for ten. But both of these churches also served us.

REBECCA –
They let us dream big! They allowed us to be unique! They were willing to try new things and do things in a new way!

BIRDIE—
They took ownership in the vision and gave us the space, resources, and support we needed to hone our skills.

REBECCA –
They were the guinea pigs, for which we are eternally grateful!

BIRDIE –
When we look back, NOW we can clearly see specific things God did to prepare us for NarroWay. As it was happening, it just seemed like “small stuff.”

REBECCA –
For example, we needed a soundtrack. (Pianos don’t do well on tour buses.)
Well, one day, church member Don Crosthwaite, who owned the radio station, said, “Girls, come to the station and listen to an album I made in Paducah, KY.”
So, we went.

BIRDIE –
It sounded great! “Do you like the orchestra?” he said. “That’s called a sampler.”

REBECCA –
And right then and there Birdie was introduced to a cutting edge technology that changed the world of music.

BIRDIE –
“I’ll take you to Paducah and make arrangements for you to work with George, the studio owner and chief sound engineer,” he said, “as well as Frank Conrad, the virtuoso who knows how all this works.”

BIRDIE –
I packed up my handwritten music and headed to Paducah – a seven hour drive.

REBECCA –
Over the next few years, those two men graciously mentored us. The education we received from them was wise and practical. They gained us an advantage!

BIRDIE –
It was George who told us we needed a computer to make writing music and scripts simpler.

REBECCA –
George had a Mac SE, so we bought a Mac SE. When we took it out of the box, we couldn’t figure it out.

BIRDIE –
The instructions said “... now select the icon!” The trouble-shooting section said “... then select the icon!” Finally Rebecca yelled: “What the heck is an ICON!”

REBECCA –
Frank then taught us all about midi and how an interface would make a midi device, such as a Roland electric piano, talk to the computer.

BIRDIE –
So, we bought one and I started learning.

electric piano  and catThis was actually a picture we took of our very bad cat, whose name was Jake. But God knew one day we would need a photo of that electric piano with the midi book on it! This was obviously taken before we could afford a piano bench. electric piano  and birdieWe included this photo to show the new piano bench!

REBECCA –
Next, George purchased a Kurtzweil K-250.

BIRDIE –
The K-250 is a classic! It was the first electronic instrument to authentically reproduce the sounds of an acoustic grand piano. It was 12-note polyphonic and multi-timbral. A pro machine!
Retail price: $20,000.00.

REBECCA –
It looked like the dashboard of a spaceship!

BIRDIE –
Frank taught me the art of sequencing and the possibilities seemed limitless.

REBECCA –
The next year we were in Paducah recording another musical. George got a call from his friend Chuck, who had started an up-and-coming music store called Sweetwater Sound. Chuck said that Kurtzweil sold out to Yung Chang and Chuck bought several K-250s.

BIRDIE –
George looked at me. “Chuck will sell you a K-250 for $5000.00. Want it?”
HA! That’s the easiest question I ever had to answer!

REBECCA –
We took out a loan and that baby has been on every soundtrack for every show we have ever written since then! Even though more sophisticated equipment has been added, I’m sure Birdie wants to be buried with the K-250!

Birdie playing Kurtzweil kurtzweil k250 controllerHere Birdie is pictured working on “SAMSON,” which premiered at NarroWay in 2015, using the K-250 as a controller - 25 years after its purchase.

REBECCA –
At our first church, we started writing, producing, recording, directing and touring one major musical every year. In addition to other responsibilities, we also directed and performed two adult and two children’s musicals, which were purchased.

It was during this time we first wrote and performed the original version of what is now a NarroWay classic: “Not Just Another Love Story.”

BIRDIE –
Looking back, reminds us of this true story about our first basset hound, Jessie.

REBECCA –
Jessie was forever getting loose! We should have named him Houdini. Once the radio station announced they had him!

BIRDIE –
Another time a choir member saw him prancing down the highway. She stopped and told him to get in her new Cadillac!

basset hound in snow

REBECCA –
One winter’s night, it came a terrible snow. When I let Jessie out to potty, he freed himself!

BIRDIE –
And he was g.o.n.e!

basset hound leaving

REBECCA –
This time...we followed his footprints.

BIRDIE –
There’s a spiritual lesson in footprints. Think about it.
You can only follow footprints after the fact - by looking where someone has been. And that’s the way it is with God. You can see where God has been in your life...but you can’t see where he’s going.

REBECCA –
You don’t know what God is DOING but you can see what God has DONE.

BIRDIE –
That’s why the journey is called FAITH!

REBECCA –
What seemed like “stuff” to us, was God meticulously putting together the puzzle that would someday spell NarroWay.

BIRDIE –
Look back and see God’s footprints in your life.
...Although I think you have to get to a certain stage of life to see them.

REBECCA –
That stage is called: OLD!

BIRDIE –
And by then you can’t accurately remember what happened in your life.

REBECCA –
We’ve veered, my friend.

BIRDIE –
Yep!

 

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Comments 2

Guest - Gwen S on Wednesday, 29 June 2016 14:59

I am so thankful for both of you and the talents God has given you and for His provisions! May He continue to bless you and draw others to Himself through NarroWay. To Him be the glory! Love and hugs!

I am so thankful for both of you and the talents God has given you and for His provisions! May He continue to bless you and draw others to Himself through NarroWay. To Him be the glory! Love and hugs!
Guest - Betty Moore-Bell on Sunday, 15 January 2017 08:00

Loving this but gonna be late for church if I don't pause here! Feel like I know you two! We've traveled similar roads at times...and always with a Savior! Thanks so much for NarroWay and the history!

Loving this but gonna be late for church if I don't pause here! Feel like I know you two! We've traveled similar roads at times...and always with a Savior! Thanks so much for NarroWay and the history!
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Chapter 13: Humming "I Surrender All" (In the Key ...
Chapter 11: The NarroWay Mindset


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