Tour of Hope Day #1
Sponsored in part by
Baseball Seams Co.
and Home Vet Service
“I’m going on an adventure!”
–Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit
He’s named after the best Royals player ever. He named his oldest son after the best athlete to ever put on a Royals uniform.
Brett and Bo.
I am relatively art illiterate. I know the artists of some of the major works over the years, but I’ve never studied art history. I’m pretty much horrible at all things artistic. The whole point of art is to make a connection with someone, to make them feel something, and the first time I saw Brett’s art, I was floored.
When I was a youth minister in Lee’s Summit, Brett was one of my volunteers. I was blessed to have an amazing corps of adults who helped me figure out what youth ministry in the 21st century looks like. Brett and I first met at lunch at Jason’s Deli after church and he made a quick sketch with crayons on a napkin while we were talking about the Royals. That quick sketch is better than anything I’ve ever attempted to draw. Since then, he and I have partnered together on several word and art projects of faith, hope, and ridiculous dreams. One day, I’d love to have the walls of my house filled with his works.
He has designed covers for a few of my books; his rendition of Kauffman Stadium with Alex Gordon is one of my favorite.
We met at Kauffman Stadium this afternoon. Where else was I supposed to go to play catch with Brett and Bo?
Within the last year Bo has been diagnosed with dyspraxia of the body and apraxia of speech.
“Basically, things that are pretty much intuitive for us are like a complicated dance routine for him. And his speech is improving, but family interpretation is almost always necessary.”
On the drive to the stadium, Bo told Brett, “Ethan is my best friend. He is a good friend.” As soon as they parked their van, Bo hopped out with glove in hand and gave me a high five.
“Hi Ethan!” I understood him perfectly.
Brett greeted me with a hug and kiss which I completely expected because that’s who Brett is. We walked across the parking lot to the swampy, marshy grass behind the jumbotron. Within minutes, shoes and socks were saturated.
Bo didn’t care one bit. He loves to be outside and to run and we quickly worked out a catch-playing rhythm.
Brett and I spread out about 90 feet and tossed the ball. When Bo got close, he’d throw me the ball — left-handed — and I’d throw it back. He would then run to Brett and do the same thing. We were able to get three or four throws in the time it took for Bo to run between us.
Brett is now the youth minister at his church. With three kids under five and a full-time position at a church, Brett’s art has taken a back seat.
“I’m mostly doing creative problem solving these days.”
Bo informed me that Brett’s dream was to be a dolphin which made complete sense considering the watery conditions in which we were playing. Bo’s dream for himself is to visit a dinosaur museum.
My ridiculous hope is that, somewhere in this world, there is a patron of the arts who sees Brett’s work and pays him to create masterpiece after masterpiece.
We called it a day when our water supplies were gone and Bo collapsed into the grass.
Ten minutes later, Brett texted me.
“The results of playing catch.”