Michelle and I are friends with Katie and Michael. About a month ago was Michael’s birthday, so Katie contacted us and asked us if we would create a piece based on his favorite quote from the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory that she could give to him for his birthday.
“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.” — Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy
Of course we were excited to do it! We’ve always loved that quote and Willy Wonka too. Next, Katie decided to throw Michael a surprise Wonka-themed birthday party at everybody’s favorite Nashville coffee-brewtique, Crema. We brought the finished piece to Crema before the guest of honor arrived and put it up on an easel in the corner, covered by white sheet, hidden in plain sight. Once Michael and Katie arrived, everybody shouted “Happy Birthday!” (Of course we happened to be hanging out in the wrong room when he walked into the surprise of people, so we just waited for them to wade through all the hugs, handshakes, chest-bumps and high fives.) After a little while, Katie gave some brief, emotional words and then had Michelle and I take the sheet off for the big reveal (which reminded me how clumsy I am at that sort of thing). The painting was a hit. I’ll admit it was a little strange having so much attention paid to us at somebody else’s birthday party. But it was humbling too. We love celebrations. We love being around friends and doing life with them and just getting to experience people doing what they love.
Michelle and I are dreamers of dreams. We have a white board at home full of ideas (some of them completely insane) that we hope to be able to unwrap one day soon. I used to play guitar at times and Michelle keeps getting on to me that I need to pick it back up so that our son can see me playing it. And I agree. Michael and Katie are also dreamers. They are both nurses and are currently training and raising money for “CURE,” an organization that provides life-changing operations for some of the world’s poorest children. Michael is also a music maker. He’s got an insanely great voice and is in the band Red.