Runner-up Winner of Contest for Neil Young Tickets
Thanks to a very, very generous Thrashers Wheat reader, we are pleased to be able to offer a pair of tickets to see Neil Young in concert at the Wang Center, Boston, April 19.
We had over 50 Neil stories submitted and had a tough time narrowing it down to a final round of stories. After much thoughtful decision, the donor has made a selection of a runner-up and winner. The runner-up will receive a Neil memorabilia gift to be determined.
Here's the runner-up Neil Young story:
Simply put, Neil Young brought my husband Ryan to me.
I am a happily married woman with three beautiful kids and a life with my husband which I cherish. I owe much of that to Neil Young.
Because of Neil, my husband left South Africa at 20 with a guitar on his back and $50 in his pocket, ready to make a life in America. For his fifteenth birthday, he was given a guitar, which was really a big deal in South Africa back then. He taught himself by sound his first Neil Young song, Heart of Gold, and so shaped the course of the rest of his life. He was motivated enough to come here to the States and has been playing music professionally here since then. He realized quickly that earning a good living by playing music doesn’t come easy. He is incredibly talented and sacrificed what may have truly been a remarkable career in music for me and his children.
He now works endlessly in a self started company to support us. He gets to revel in his music just once a week now playing at a local bar. Fans from 20 years ago, still come every week to watch him play and enjoy his talent. Not once has he ever played without giving thanks to Neil for inspiring him to even ask for that guitar on his fifteenth birthday. My husband not only idolizes Neil’s music, but the man himself; his loyalty to his wife and dedication to children with challenges, his stand and efforts on social issues, his political views. There is not one day that goes by in my household that the name Neil Young is not mentioned in some way. When he goes off to work he tells our kids “Dad’s going to play Neil’s music now”. My children were lullabyed to sleep with the songs of Neil Young.
I was lucky enough once to get tickets to one of his concerts in Florida, but Ryan had to miss it due to the birth of our child. Never once did he complain, but he often talks about getting another chance to finally see Neil play live. My husband is a remarkable man. He came here with nothing, motivated by no one other than Neil Young. He made a great life for himself here and has truly been a blessing to me and my children.
He is a breath a fresh air in a world where morals are declining, selfishness is prevailing, and the stresses of life are crumbling relationships everywhere. He is truly selfless, working even harder day to day in this struggling economy to make ends meet for our family. He gets even more talented as the years pass, but is filled with humility; a quality he has long admired in Neil. He comes home each day and continues to give what time he has to love his wife and children.
The balance of work and play for him has definitely shifted in the wrong direction these last few years. I feel that, if given these tickets, the depth of Ryan’s appreciation would be immeasurable! He is now getting ready to celebrate his 46th birthday, and these tickets would bring him more joy than any gift I could try to offer this selfless man who truly deserves to finally see the man who shaped his life.
Thank You for considering Ryan. He means the world to me and these tickets would mean the world to him!
Ormond Beach, FL
Thank you Kelly & Ryan! Your story was truly inspiring. We didn't want to just say thanks for submitting such a heartfelt Neil story so we'll be sending out a gift to you shortly.
And thanks to all of the other contest entries. There are a lot of amazing Neil stories out there, many of which moved us to tears.
We'll have the winning entry later this week.