In retirement my dad kept one responsibility from his career in the banking industry...he writes an article for a locally-produced Chamber of Commerce magazine called Prairie Tracks. His articles are quite popular in the region and while he was on his 17 day, 250 mile covered wagon journey he asked me to write his article for the month...here it is.
Living With Bob.
By: Tom Glanzer
(Tom Glanzer is guest columnist for his father Bob Glanzer who is currently driving a team of horses and a chuck wagon originally built in the 1880’s from Yankton, S.D. to Pierre, S.D. as a part of the 125th Statehood Anniversary Wagon Train.)
I guess if you read my dad’s article in this publication enough you have read a few stories about me and my wife and kids, so I won’t bore you with who I am…I am Bob’s only son. (I have a sister, but she never caused a single parenting problem for my folks, so you won’t read any stories about her here.)
I believe the original agreement for Bob’s articles in Prairie Tracks was that he was to generate ag-based business stories. He may have written a couple of those before he retired from American Bank & Trust, but shortly after that the article’s storyline morphed into the typical Midwest memory-type fodder that ends up being read by the great Jim Thompson or picked-off by DeSmet Farm Mutual. Since I am the child that received my dad’s creative writing skills, he told me that I was writing his article this month while he “plays cowboy” on the wagon train.
Friday the 5th of September, my son Brecken and I rode with dad on the wagon train from Tabor, to Scotland, S.D., and it was one more of those “things I have done that not many others have done.” When you are Bob Glanzer’s kid you get multiple opportunities to do things that most other people in the world haven’t done.
You see my dad lives life a little more full than most of us who prefer to be comfortable in our existence, and he taught Sally and me to push ourselves to live life to the fullest. If there was an opportunity to try something new…you did it…and I still do.
As Brecken and I drove back to Huron after riding in a chuck wagon all day, we enjoyed the seat heaters in the Expedition and after a day like that you have to listen to country music. Then the song came on…back in 2004, Tim McGraw had a country song called, “Live Like You Were Dying”. A typical story-type country song about a guy diagnosed with a disease that would soon end his life, and when he found out he only had a short time to live…the hook of the song says this…
I went skydiving,
I went rocky mountain climbing,I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu
And I loved deeperAnd I spoke sweeter
And I gave forgiveness I’d been denyin’And he said, “Someday I hope you get the chance, to live like you were dying.”
Well, with one of my earthly possessions sitting in the seat next to me I got a bit reflective about that song and I realized that I didn’t need to worry about trying to fit in all those things in before I die. If God decides to give me a short time to live…I have already done all of the things in the song, and so much more…just living with Bob.I have jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, I learned to rock climb at 12 years old in the Sierra Mountains of California, and back when I was riding bulls…I went 2.7 seconds on a number of bulls with really cool names.
Dad has taught me to “live like you were dying” since I was like 5 years old….because of Bob I raced sprint cars, BMX bikes and know exactly how to power slide a rear wheel drive car on gravel or snow. I have roped calves, rode bulls and broke horses to ride under the Alaskan sky.I have paddled a canoe down a pretty good stretch of the James River, rock climbed in 5 different states, played the drums for the late Kyle Evans, and also the guy who wrote Garth Brooks’ “Friends In Low Places”. I love to surf, I live to wakeboard, I have been in a sail boat, and I was a passenger in a boat that sunk in the middle of a freak summer storm.
My wife and I started a successful photography business 6 years ago with little more than $3,000. When I worked in TV I interviewed and worked with some amazing and interesting people, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Kirby Puckett, Mr. Hockey - Gordie Howe, 1980 Olympic Hockey Coach Herb Brooks, former Gov. Bill Janklow, Randy Moss, Tom Kelly, Charles Barkley, and the list goes on.Living with Bob basically prepared me for life…professionally, personally and spiritually. So I guess the challenge, or the moral of my story is, don’t wait until you get that news from a doctor to “live like you were dying”. Do it when you have your health, when your kids are young or when your parents are still alive. You will never have enough money, enough time or the perfect day for it, you just have to do it. If you wait for things like that you will be in the nursing home saying, “I wish I would have…”.
Finally and most importantly don’t forget the most important lines in that chorus, “I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter”. Above all…those two things are the most important things I ever learned while “Living With Bob”.