Coshocton: (n) a city in E central Ohio.
My body was twenty years old, my heart, fifteen, my soul, sixty-five, and my mind, ten.
Yeah. That’s about right.
I had started a music group and was convinced it was just a matter of time until we would have a record contract, dazzling the airwaves, and in the process also impress my family members who thought I should get a job at a local department store called Buckeye Mart.
Gigs were hard to come by. We were performing contemporary music with a rock edge, but it had a Christian message. In that season, those elements were not allowed to combine.
So I was absolutely thrilled when there was a Bible college in Coshocton, Ohio, which contacted us and said they wanted us to come and play for their morning chapel.
I had long hair, and our group dressed like hippies who had put together their wardrobe with an Ohio mindset. We headed off to the college—which was rather conservative, and upon arriving, immediately ran into trouble.
The dean of students did not think it was appropriate to place us on a “platform of importance” when they had a dress code at the school which included that all men must wear their hair off their ears.
I kept my cool. This was the “old soul” part of me. I explained to them, in a comical way, that I was going to use part of the twenty-five-dollar honorarium check to get a haircut, because up to this point, I had not been able to afford one.
They looked at me with sympathetic eyes and actually bought the story—so much so that I was embarrassed that I lied to them.
Nevertheless, the Dean of Students included that part of our interchange in the introduction before we came up to sing our two songs.
I should say “prepared to sing our two songs,” because when we began, the bass guitar and drums were so foreign that the teaching staff came forward, objected and stopped the program.
The students were alarmed and perhaps offended that we were not able to continue but had drunk enough of the Kool-Aid to remain silent.
The ten-year-old mind and the fifteen-year-old emotions got together—and I threw a shit fit right there in front of everyone. I quoted Bible, Bill of Rights, Constitution and even something I had read in their school charter about “allowing the Spirit to move.”
It didn’t make any difference.
But apparently, I was eloquent enough that they decided to give us the twenty-five dollar check anyway, so it wouldn’t look like they were welchers and had cheated us.
So having only sung a half of a chorus on one song, we packed up our equipment and headed down the road.
By the way—I never got the haircut.