Friday, August 7, 2009

Can I Sing The Bass Line?

Puberty came early to me. I actually started shaving at ten years old. By the next year I had the deepest voice of any student in my junior high school. (They call them middle schools today.)

Two years later, the Temptations had a number one hit with “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” and I knew then that when I grew up, I wanted to be the bass singer in a black soul group. A heck of a dream for a short, white Jewish kid from East LA.

Move the clock ahead 20 years to 1993 and I am a mucky-muck in the mortgage business, attending a private party in Washington DC for about 900 people. The host had hired entertainment for the evening which included the Four Tops and you guessed it, the Temptations.

Since I was a mucky-muck, I had front row center seats. As was their custom at the time, the Temptations would invite, or drag if necessary, one man and one woman from the audience to join them in singing a song on stage. They picked me and did not have to drag me on stage.
Being the professionals that they are, the lead singer would help the “guest artist” by matching pitch. Immediately I knew what to do and asked “Can I sing the bass line?” They graciously agreed and the bass singer stepped back while gesturing “it’s all yours.”

So there I am, on stage performing with the Temptations. Me, the short, white Jewish kid from East LA realizing his childhood dream of being the bass singer in a black soul group. Together we sang “My Girl.” It doesn’t get much better than that.

The point and the lesson is this: DARE TO DREAM. Sometimes our dreams and wishes do come true.

Today I live with a disability that keeps me from working. What it does not do is keep me from dreaming. I learned from the Temptations that anything is possible.

What is my wildest fantasy today? I want to play Tevye in “A Fiddler On The Roof.” Will it happen? I don’t know. What I do know is that f I don’t have the dream, it will never happen.

What is your dream?

Participate. Make a difference. Live a life that matters.


  1. What a great story!

    I have continued to work fulltime almost 7 years after being diagnosed with TM, but do not think I can keep it up indefinitely. My dream would be to be able to volunteer a comfortable level of my professional skills and experience to accomplish something really worthwhile--rather than the daily employment struggle to just survive financially.

  2. What a great story! Besides having MS, I also love the Temptations and Fiddler. So it looks like we have a lot in common.

    Taking inspiration for you, I'm going to work to make my dream a reality but it might be kind of difficult. Walking, which is my dream, may never be a reality for me again but it doesn't mean I'm not going to try!!

    Thanks, Jennifer

  3. Michael-you are full of surprises! That is one of the greatest stories I have ever heard, of course until you tell another one!

    oxox Chrissy