Posts Tagged ‘son’

h1

OLDEST SON OF AN OLDEST SON – VOL. 2

June 15, 2009

IndyAdamLogo 

In my mind, the conversation went something like this:

“So… I’m going to Africa.”

“Say that again.”

“I’m going to Africa with a journalist who is doing a story and wants my video blog to be a part of it.”

“Africa. You mean the small town in Delaware County, here in O – HI – O. Right?”

“Nope. NAI – RO – BI, KEN – YA.” 

SAY THAT AGAIN?”

Your oldest son going to Africa, using a couch surfing website, is a little unnerving. Going with a free lance journalist – a bit more unnerving. Usually, when journalists go to foreign lands, they are funded by the news organizations they represent and are accompanied by several people and lots of equipment. This time, uh… not so much.

But, Adam was going. He wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to see a part of the world that very few Americans will ever see. London first, then on to Nairobi and Malindi (with a safari thrown in there somewhere), back up to Paris, then Venice and then back to London very briefly, before coming home to the States. The airline tickets were remarkably inexpensive for that amount of travel. All the “couches” were lined up. (I still shake my head when I read that last sentence.)

I have to admit there were a few evenings when I felt anxious about his safety. (I can’t imagine how the parents of combat soldiers must feel.) It wasn’t fear, just concern. It is certainly common knowledge that Africa has many third-world countries where law enforcement barely exists, if at all. Visualizing Adam carrying so much expensive equipment through the streets of Nairobi and Malindi gave me pause. It looks far more glamorous and a lot less dangerous in the movies.

We videophoned when he was in London. After that, I did not hear from him for several days. Then he was finally able to connect via internet cafes with very slow connections in Nairobi and Malindi, which made uploading his vlog entries nearly impossible.

As I write this, Adam is now in Paris, where running and hot water are in abundance, the streets are paved and there is (thank you, Jesus!) high-speed internet. We videophoned last night. He then asked me to point my PC’s camera towards the TV in my office so he could watch the Lakers-Magic game (game five of the finals) where later that night, Coach Phil Jackson won his tenth NBA Championship and the Lakers won their fourth. The game started at 8:00pm est, which was 2:00am in Paris.

UPDATE: As promised, here is video of our conversations via videophone when he was in London, Paris and Greece. (The trip to Greece was a last minute change of plans.) I gave him the original footage and he did the editing, which saved me a lot of time. Truth-be-known, he’s much better at it. 🙂

Adam’s vlog entries for this trip are great. You can read them here.

His videos are spectacular. Here are some of them.

Obviously, Adam inherited his adventurous spirit from me. As you can see, I too enjoy a trip to the wild.

CoffeeMugMe1

As for the animals – how are you not scared speechless seeing this?

MaleCardinal1

And don’t tell me you’re not trembling watching these guys eat.

BirdsEating1

Being the fearless person that I am, I’ll be going back very soon.

Sincerely,

signature2

 

 

www.MichaelKontras.com

h1

OLDEST SON OF AN OLDEST SON – VOL. 1

June 1, 2009

OldestSon2 

He was moving to the west coast to follow his dream.

AdamJessJDog

Camry, TrailerAccompanied by his fiancée, one of his buddies, the cat, and two trailers pulled with a four-door sedan and a small pick-up, he and the others waved goodbye as I snapped the pictures on that cold, wet, winter morning.

Truck, TrailerIt was January 2, 2000. My oldest son, Adam, spent the previous day at the house, sharing stories, feelings and dreams. I probably knew then his move was going to be permanent.

 

It’s a trait I share with both of my sons: always look forward, avoid looking back and live in the moment.

I certainly knew what he was feeling, completely understanding his desire to follow his dream. Anyone who has shifted their thinking from the conformity of their upbringing understands. There is an internal “voice” that seems to guide you in a different direction from what you were raised to believe. I was the first family member in my generation to chart a different course from the Greek Orthodox/Republican surroundings of my adolescence. I was probably not the most popular son or nephew but my brother and cousins thought it was “pretty cool.” Decades later, I learned that some of my cousins were silently cheering for me in my “revolt against the establishment.” I’m sure some of Adam’s cousins are doing the same thing. His younger brother stays in regular contact with him.

AdamPromoShotOnce I became a parent, I knew I would never stifle my children’s dreams. Adam’s decision to go into the entertainment industry was entirely his. His brother is succeeding at his own dream, albeit a very different choice than Adam’s. Both grew up watching me work at my dream  – the rehearsals, the performances and the recording sessions.

Adam writes about his departure this way. Little did he know that on that day he would make history by becoming the world’s FIRST video blogger, or vlogger

 

 

So here we are, nearly ten years later.

Saying “so much has happened” is beyond cliché. You can learn all the history at The Official Journey. He has not only privately shared much with me over the years (maybe too much – there are things a father doesn’t NEED to know), but in huge gestures of selflessness, has INCLUDED me in his successes: sharing the stage, introducing me to people in the industry and allowing me to experience “behind the scenes” events that very few people will ever know. There are no words to describe my gratitude.

But this series is about now. As I’m permitted to reveal events in his life, I will reveal my thoughts on those events. Hopefully, I will be able to witness some first-hand. It’s challenging when we’re 2,258 miles apart. (Google Maps, just in case you’re wondering.)

Some major events – all for the good – have taken place in the last five days that could change his life. Industry “heavyweights” are involved. I’ll comment on the events as soon as they are made public by those “heavyweights.”

Until then, I will tell no tale before it’s time. 🙂

Sincerely,

signature2

 

 

www.MichaelKontras.com