Tagged: Jerry Vandiver

Jerry the Connecter

Have you read Malcolm Gladwell?  One of his books, The Tipping Point is about …well, a lot of things, but one of the themes is  “epidemics” and how they spread.   Here at Tuscarora, we’re in the business of promoting canoe trip epidemics, right?  So this is why it became part of my job to read this book.  I liked it so much I’ve read all of his books so far.  I like the way he writes, sort of causally researchy…brings up lots of interesting topics. So, we’re still figuring out how to share the North Woods with everyone we can—introducing new people,  setting up the seasoned people –talking about trips and campsites, recommending canoes, listening to stories.
At one point in the book, he talks about CONNECTERS.  Connecters are people with a gift for bringing folks together.  They seem to know people across borders of society—and make friends easily, and then connect them all.   They are like the network hub.  Most of us know somebody like that—particularly likable, or somehow gifted with a combination of curiosity and energy and general appeal.

Last week, we got an email from our Nashville friend, Jerry Vandiver.  I thought…aha!  Here’s a connecter in the flesh, and we are really lucky to be in his web. Jerry uses his music and love of the North Woods to bring lots of folks together.  Definitely his network spans the country.
This summer….he’ll be back to do one of his Dining Hall Concerts, and we’re pretty excited about that—we’re even going to set a date soon!  We plan to combine it with our Unnofficial Tuscarora Triathlon….which is all good for me, because it might even mean that I schedule it ahead of time…so …..people might even be able to PLAN on these events, if you can imagine.
Anyhow, I’m recommending that you connect with Jerry, however you can.  Part of his charm is that he’ll remember you, and make you feel special.  You can catch him at Canoecopia in March, or at Tuscarora in July!

Jerry’s Groupies

I watched an old video of Bruce Springsteen singing Born in the USA the other day, he had so so much energy that all the people watching him were in some sort of shouting trance along with him….and I was thinking….hmmm…I’ve never had that.  Never really been a groupie before.  In fact, when I used to listen to the Stranger Album in Jr High over and over and over again, I didn’t even want to look at Billy Joel’s photo who wasn’t even part of my musical experience.  In fact…his mullet might even ruin some of my favorite songs.

And James Taylor is so smooth, but doesn’t he sort of look like a wide mouth frog when he sings?  I just want to listen to him.  It’s almost as if the existence of the real singers took away my enjoyment of the songs….like a movie that gets the book all wrong.
This July, Jerry Vandiver came back to Tuscarora.  First off, we just really like that guy.   I don’t like mullets or the wide mouth frog look, and Jerry doesn’t have either, but I’m saying if he DID, I wouldn’t even mind, I’d still want to watch him sing.   Our staff and guests were part of the honored ones of his concert BWCAW tour (see link below, if you have the bandwidth for it, ((ahem)).  He sits in the same spot in the dining hall each summer, Andy and I sit on the same table in the back, and I want him to sing my list of favorites, repeat the same concert, and he makes me really happy.   The audience changes a little, he writes new songs, but overall, I get the same exact experience, and that is what I want.
I don’t know if groupies like the person first, and the music second, or the music first and then the person second or if it’s just a big mishmash of admiration, but we’ve got it for Jerry around here, that’s for sure.  I don’t really care if he’s popular or sells a lot of albums, although I want him to.  We can name the songs, I feel like singing along with him….  Yep—can you tell from the photo?  Definitely groupies.