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What it all meansPosted Saturday, May 31, 2008, at 3:38 PM
Photo courtesy of www.othaturner.com
That's the name of my blog.
That's also a quote from one of my all-time favorite musicians.
The late, great, Hill Country legend - Mr. Otha Turner.
Basically, the loose translation of "Nothing fail, but a try" means: "Don't be afraid to try something, for not trying something is far worse than trying and failing at it."
In other words, you can't win if you're afraid to lose.
I try to live by that credo, and I'm sure that most athletes do, as well.
It's been proven many times that you can't reach the pinnacle of your sport without having fallen down the hill a couple of times before scaling the heights in triumph.
Those that fall and get up again are the ones that become champions, the ones we will always remember. Those that choose not to get up are the ones quickly forgotten about.
It's that simple. Live life to its fullest and don't be afraid to take chances. Be one of a kind, not one of the pack.
Mr. Otha was certainly one of a kind, even by the standards that most outside-of-the-box, rural blues musicians live by.
Until his death in 2003 at 94 years of age, Mr. Otha made music with his homemade bamboo cane fife, while leading his Rising Star Fife & Drum Corps., a group with a rhythm and sound so powerful it was guaranteed to put the mind into a hypnotic trance, while the body moved back-and-forth in unison with the deep groove.
That was what Mr. Otha did for fun. He earned a living by raising horses, hogs, cattle and corn on his modest spread near Gravel Springs, Miss.
Mr. Otha did not even record his first full-length album, Everybody's Hollerin' Goat, until he was already 90 years old.
That's called taking a chance and not being afraid to do something different, even after nine decades on this earth.
Mr. Otha could plow a field of corn or beans all day long, without the aid of modern machinery mind you, and then still have enough energy left to make goose bumps pop out on the back of your neck that night when he kicked off a tune at one of his legendary picnics.
Those get-togethers, involving a few thousand of his closest friends, would go on until the wee hours of the morning, at which time Mr.Otha would be up on his front porch, in his overalls and ball cap, ready to hit the field once again.
That's called living life to its fullest.
Same thing could be said of all our student/athletes in this area.
They go to class all day long and then either practice their sport, or play in actual games that night, sometimes until way late in the evening.
Heck, some even have after-school jobs they have to sandwich around school/practice/game-time.
Then they get up early the next morning and do it once again, all without hesitation.
That, too, is called living life to its fullest.
So with a vivid picture of a grinning, dancing, happy Mr. Otha in my mind, I salute all those that choose to make their own way in this world, never giving in or never stopping short because of the fear of failure.
Because after all, "Nothing fail, but a try."
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Since my own high school sports career fizzled out before it really reached its zenith, I have managed to live vicariously through the student/athletes of the 16 high schools I've covered for Areawide Media since 2001. I've witnessed the highest of highs in the form of state championships. I have also seen first-hand the sting of disappointment when the ultimate prize was within reach, but still eluded the grasp of its pursuer. But through all the ups and downs associated with high school sports, my respect for the young competitors that suit up each night, along with the men and women who guide them, remains unwavering. Blog mission: With my passion for music, especially live music, running second only to my passion for sports, I'll try to devote this space to both. Especially when it concerns our region and what's happening around it. Look for commentary and features on area sports figures and musicians, along with things to get out and do in the beautiful Spring River/Ozarks area. But I'll not totally ignore the outside - I'll also hit on some national happenings in the wide worlds of sports and music.