TODAY I AM hanging out with my friend, Adam Yates. He is also known as Sgt. Adam Yates of the Quincy Police Department. I respect the hell out of him for what he does - I could never do it, dealing with all these people and keeping the peace in places where you are not welcome.
I don't hang out with him because he's a cop. I hang out with him because he's my friend. He's an excellent musician and he gets it, what musicians do and why we play. He's funny and opinionated and cares a lot about what he does. When he's off duty, he's off duty.
But we are defined by what we do, and Adam is a police officer, through and through. So is his wife, Stefanie. Don't be fooled by her size and easy smile. I've seen her cuff and stuff dirtballs into the back of a squad car before you can even blink.
I can't even watch the news this morning, knowing five of their colleagues were senselessly gunned down last night in Dallas. You can live in a small Midwestern town by the Mississippi River and pretend the world doesn't spin around you, but sometimes it just hits home and makes the ground shake.
Think about this for a second - what if what you did defined you, and people who were also in your profession were killed because of it? Does it happen to bankers, lawyers, bricklayers, music store owners, guitar players?
I don't know if we will talk about Dallas today. Adam and Tim Smith are playing for our noon Blues In The Park acoustic concert. Then we are setting up at One Restaurant for a Pepper Spray show tonight. Then we are hanging out on the sidewalk during Blues In The District, and eventually we'll be back at One to bid farewell to Avenue Beat.
It will be a good day. Yet Dallas lingers in the background. I want to say something to make it all go away and make everybody feel better, but it doesn't work like that.
All. Lives. Matter. Hate and ignorance cannot win or define us.
And to Adam and Stefanie and my friends in law enforcement, I Back The Blue.
Check out our friend Cindy Haxel's local program to support law enforcement. We in Quincy Illinois Back the Blue. They are taking donations and using them to show appreciation to our law enforcement officers.