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‘There ain’t a ladder on the streets’

I’m sure everyone has a particular song that has given them some kind of inspiration in their life.

I have a few of those songs, one of which is providing a bit of inspiration for the second time in my life. It’s Bon Jovi’s “These Days,” one of my top five favorite songs by the band.

Bon Jovi’s “These Days” — Sorry, it wouldn’t let me post the YouTube video on the blog.

I remember buying the “These Days” album in 2004, just prior to a mega road trip by Andy, Big Joe and myself. On that trip, we went to four different sporting events in four days — Chicago Cubs at Atlanta Braves on Friday, Miami Heat at Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers on Sunday, and Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago for the Cubs’ home opener on Monday.

On Sunday night, Andy was sound asleep in the back seat and Big Joe in the passenger seat was supposed to keep me company. Instead, he also fell asleep, though his sleep apnea was worth a laugh or two.

So there I am, driving from Detroit to Chicago with both of my buddies sound asleep. There wasn’t any cell phone coverage in the middle of nowhere Michigan, so all I had to keep me awake was the CD player.

I had listened to my new Bon Jovi CD a few times before that night, but during the drive I started listening to the words a little more. The chorus of “These Days” really hit close to home.

These days, the stars seem out of reach

But these days, there ain’t a ladder on the streets

At that point in my life, it was a year after graduation and I was working at Movie Gallery. I had been applying for TV sports broadcasting jobs all across the country, but thus far had zero luck.

Just before that trip, Scoop had encouraged me to apply for a sports writer’s job at The Gadsden Time. I never really thought I was a good writer, but I went ahead and still sent in my clips.

I didn’t get the job, but the sports editor Jimmy Smothers sent me a handwritten letter. Smothers was a Hall of Fame writer in Alabama, so to receive a personal letter from him was a pretty big deal.

The letter said the reason I didn’t get the job was because they had basically settled on a candidate before they received my stuff. However, he said he was impressed with my clips and encouraged me to keep applying for writing jobs.

Bon Jovi has said in the past that a good song is a song that has a different meaning for different people. I couldn’t agree more.

For me, “These Days” meant to me that I needed to do what I could to pursue a job as a sports writer. The stars seemed out of reach, but I was going to bust my butt to pursue a career in writing because there wasn’t a ladder on the streets.

When I got home from that trip, I immediately started applying for newspaper jobs. In less than two months, I was working at The Cullman Times.

Nearly seven years later, I’m back in the same spot as I was then. I’m without a career and needing a little inspiration to give me direction.

These days, the stars seem out of reach

But these days, there ain’t a ladder on the streets

I’m confident I’ll have a new career within a month or two because I’m motivated to get it done. Thanks again for the words of advice, Bon Jovi. As always, it comes at the right time.

Speaking of the mega sports road trip…

Speaking of that epic road trip, I went back and found a few photos from it. Enjoy!

Joe, Patty, Andy and I after the Cubs vs. Braves extra inning marathon.

Outside Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

We saw LeBron vs. D-Wade their rookie years. If we only knew then what we know now.

Andy singing a karaoke version of ‘Boyz in the Hood’ at a motel bar in Dayton, Ohio. The crowd was not impressed.

Outside Detroit’s Comerica Field.

It was a nice ballpark.

Opening Day at Wrigley Field!

It was cold…

Real fucking cold! (Just ask Steph, who was getting engaged at Wrigley that day).

Andy was a little too excited that we had parked in Chicago’s gay district.

So was Joe…

Final stop of the trip at Ditka’s restaurant. Sadly, we missed Da Coach by a day.

Random thoughts

• My indoor cat somehow got fleas. I think I’ve determined it was from the Christmas tree, which was in a storage unit for a year. I hate fleas.

• $62 million for Dan Uggla? Good luck with that Atlanta.

• I wonder if there was any fruit in that gift basket the Arkansas receivers gave Ohio State. Still a good win by the Buckeyes. No way the game should have been that close after the first half, though.

Bear Down and Keep the Faith!

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About Joshua Buckley

I used to be a Sports Editor. Now I'm the Media Relations Manager at the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center.

Discussion

11 thoughts on “‘There ain’t a ladder on the streets’

  1. Couple of points:
    1) Considering I had done about 100% of the driving from Montevallo to Detroit, I think I can be forgiven for needing to sleep on the way to Chicago. That, and the massive amounts of LaBatt’s Blue I drank in the D.
    2) Look how you we both look, especially you. Jesus. Just kill me now.
    3) My song, being in a somewhat similar point in life, is MuteMath’s “Typical”. Give it a spin.
    4) Watching Mallet last night, I’d have flashes of “God, I wish he was still at Ann Arbor”, and then five minutes later “Thank God he’s not in Ann Arbor”. That pick, right after the blocked punt, was a HUGE stomachpunch for SOOOOOIEEEEE fans.

    Posted by southernmaninindy | January 5, 2011, 8:34 am
  2. Wow, Buck, you look 12 years old!! I love the pictures tho, especially the socks!! After catching up on your blog and hoping to figure out how to subscribe, I hope you find a job in the area. I would miss my Buckley too much. I hated when you were married………

    Posted by Colts-Gal | January 5, 2011, 1:22 pm
    • Those were actually low socks compared to what I wore in college. Who has two thumbs and was a sexy piece of man meat in college? This guy!

      And which marriage are you talking about? You have to be more specific these days!

      Posted by Joshua Buckley | January 5, 2011, 1:25 pm
  3. Wow. I never knew Jimmy did that. He truly is a legend, and there’s no telling how many great sportswriters’ careers he helped to start — including yours.

    Posted by David Clemons | January 5, 2011, 8:22 pm
  4. What would u rather us do… Let Uggla walk like we did Tex after giving up Andrus and Feliz? No, we had to shell out some dough to keep a solid player. With the lack of money we have spent over the last 5-7 years (not counting Chipper), I am happy with this deal. Batting average is overrated anyway. Plus, Patty or Clint will take him in the 1st round of the fantasy draft!

    Posted by Matt Perdue | January 5, 2011, 9:40 pm
  5. Ah, the Cullman Times. Some good things came out of that. This is a great story, Josh.

    Posted by Carla Jean | January 6, 2011, 9:52 am
  6. The only marriage I knew you in! The second!

    Posted by Colts-Gal | January 6, 2011, 10:53 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Top Five: Bon Jovi Songs « Rebuilding the Franchise - March 16, 2011

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Great scene at Concord Bridge - free BBQ and supply dropoff for a neighborhood flooded during the storm. #HoustonStrong #RollTide Proof that we have been surviving the storm. #Harvey #BeerMe Mandatory #Houston sunshine photo. Great to see after the past four days. This is the retention pond behind our neighborhood which is protecting our homes from being flooded. Earlier this week it was empty. Now there is more than 10-feet of water in it. It actually went down a bit this afternoon when we got a slight break from the rain. It can still hold another 12 or so feet before it goes over its bank. Hopefully it can hang in there the next few days. That moment when you realize #Harvey could prevent you from watching the #GOT finale.
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