Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

So I got back from the Northern Voice conference this evening, inspired to blog, but I don’t think I’ll talk about what everyone else is talking about.  Instead, I’m going to write about my friend Grady.  But I will share some photos from the conference.

Grady and I have history.  We met in elementary school. We were in the same Cub pack.  We attended three schools together, and played soccer on the same team.  We went to high school together.  We learned to drive at the same time.  We’ve travelled together. I know the first girl he kissed, and he drove me to the hospital when I got bounced of his backyard trampoline.

Grady got married to Sally in early December after a two year engagement.  This was surprising news to me for several reasons.

For one, I just found out about it three days ago.  He called me because he didn’t have my address and he wanted to send me an invitation to his reception in March.

Sadly, I almost definitely won’t be able to attend because I’ve already committed to being at a conference then.  This is why wedding dates are often sent out more than six weeks in advance. (That was snarky.  I tried to edit it out but it snuck back in when I had my back turned.) Still, I think I’d try really hard to make it, except for, as I said above, he got married in December, and there’s more.

He got married in Las Vegas, and said he had his parents, her parents, and close friends attend.  Well, there’s no denying that Grady and I aren’t close these days, but we have history.  Grady was in my wedding party ten years ago.  He was the only one of my Boy Scout friends to attend my wedding, and I always swore I’d return the effort when it was his turn.

Grady got engaged to Sally in Pasadena several years ago, and I helped him to arrange it.  I was leaving town the weekend he and Sally were coming in, so I made special arrangements to loan him my car, and helped him to find a lovely hotel, and I was probably the first friend of his told in person about the engagement.

So, since he’s been engaged, I’ve felt anxious about when he was going to get married, and I was also, dare I say it, one of the believers in his relationship.  I’d seen Sally and him together, and I saw their happiness, and I knew that even if their wedding plans were not immediate, they were going to happen.

I think some other people, knowing Grady’s tendency to switch life plans from time to time (he’s currently interested in real estate and antique cars), might have thought that the engagement chrysalis wouldn’t turn into a wedding butterfly.  Heck, I wonder if even Grady didn’t wonder that from time to time… But I knew.  I saw her in his eyes and I knew.

My friend Steve told me yesterday that he found out about Grady being married from his own mother.  Mothers do still know all and hear all, even the ones that don’t blog.  Steve’s mom belongs to MOMNet, but Steve didn’t tell the rest of us because he thought he was probably the last to find out.  He wasn’t.

I’m sure Grady had a great wedding time—I mean, who among us has a chance to actually WIN money at their wedding? And I’m sure he had good reasons to do the Vegas wedding thing and to keep it small.  And as for it being just a few close friends, I know for certain that there are people in his life who are closer to him, and frankly, to be in his wedding party would be a little weird after all this time.

But not to be given the chance to attend… And then not to find out for so long that he’d done something that I was so proud of, so happy for… dang.  I know the guy has like three cell phones, and I’m in the book.  I’m the most dang reachable person I know.  The last time I wasn’t reachable for more than 48 hours was 2002.

It’s like when you have a favorite old pair of snazzy pants that you haven’t worn in ages. You just know that on the right occasion you’re going to take them out and put them on and they’ll be perfect.  And then one day you have that business meeting or you’re packing for vacation and you dig them out and think, hey, I’d better try them on.

And you get them just over your knees and you stutter a bit and realize unwillingly that there is NO WAY you’re going to fit into those pants, you’ve been dreaming.  Because you’re not the same person you used to be, and you could lose some weight, but you’re not going to lose THAT MUCH weight unless you move to the moon.  And even then you probably wouldn’t take the pants with you.  Those pants are over.  That’s kind of how I’ve been feeling.

So, about Northern Voice.  I had a conversation with someone from the conference today, a fellow I’d never met before, and he asked me how I decided what to blog about.  I said it was pretty tough. He said, is that because some people read this who are my clients, or my potential clients.  He said that must be tricky to navigate.

I said, no, actually, the trickiest thing to navigate are the good friends who read your blog.  Because they’re the ones you don’t want to hurt, don’t want to lose, don’t want to shock.  But at the same time, it’s those relationships that generate the most thought, the most passion, the most emotional, delicate, dangerous posts.

I told him, there’s a line that I’m constantly defining; what’s too personal to me, or too others, what’s the truth, and what’s the sharable truth.  And the most interesting posts, I think, are the ones where I step over that line.


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