My old college roommate and dear friend, Rob Archer, sent me this link of his son’s valedictorian speech, and his own speech at his son’s high school graduation in June of this year.
You’ll probably want to jot this guy’s name down, Brenden Archer.
Yeah, this kid’s something special.
I know I’m a bit late in sharing this, and despite it being over 4 months ago, I still feel it’s important to share this speech with you.
I hope you’ll find his words as inspiring and refeshing as I did when I first heard them 4 months ago.
Again, apologies I’m just now sharing this.
Brenden’s speech starts at, go figure, 20 minutes and 19 seconds into the ceremony 🙂
My friend, Rob, who is an English teacher at Brenden’s now former high school, Shadle Park, was invited to speak by the students and faculty; a very high honor.
Rob’s speech begins at 26 minutes and 50 seconds into the ceremony, and is inspiring and refreshing in its own right.
There are many bright moments in Brenden’s speech, but there is one that sticks out prominently with me; his reference to Allen Iverson, aka AI, the former NBA point guard for the Philadelphia 76ers.
Rob and I got such a kick out of Iverson’s ‘Practice’ rant to the sports media back in 2002; Brenden’s 1st full year on this pale blue dot.
And now, in that transfer of knowledge from father to son, Brenden’s taken the Iverson practice rant and given it his own ‘Archer Analytics’ if you will.
Analytics that I hope my own son one day will take heed.
Practice leads to great things, and is Brenden’s central message.
Brenden, you are a testament to practice , to hard work, to determination, and to diligence.
All of these qualities I saw in your Dad the first year I met him in August of 1988 on a long E dorm room hallway at Furman University (where I believe a few rounds of ‘death frisbee’ may have been played).
Brenden, congratulations on a remarkable high school career!
From academics to athletics, you excelled mightily.
I know your parents and your whole family are incredibly proud of you, and how you’ve conducted yourself.
I still remember the time you guys came down to visit us in 2014.
You were 13 years old, and so kind to Matthew who was only 6 at the time.
You brought a small drum with you to do what you talked about in your speech…practice.
We’re talking about practice 🙂
Yep, and you kept practicing and getting better and better at that drum.
And now…look at you.
A practicing musician made perfect.
Or at least perfect in the sense that you are enjoying making music for yourself and others.
Again, a lot to be proud of there.
You were only 2 years old when I met you in Long Beach, CA for the 1st time. You and your Mom and Dad were living in Oceanside, CA.
Chihiro and I had only been married a year. Your Mom and Dad about 3 years.
I actually hadn’t seen your Dad and Mom in about 3 years since their wedding.
What a fun, quick, yet very memorable dinner that was for me to get to meet one of my dearest friends on the planet’s new son.
You lit up the room then, and you’re still doing it 16 years later.
Look out world!
Brenden’s graduated from high school, and he’s taking his ‘light show’ on the road.
Brenden, I know there are many out there who need your light, and are comforted to know your light is out there, and that it shines so bright.
I’m definitely one of those folks.
Thank you, Brenden!
And thank you, Rob, dear friend, and Kristi, Rob’s partner on this long journey, for raising such a wonderful human being!
Here’s to many more accolades in the future for you all 🙂
My kindest and humblest regards,
(A sand tennis protégé to Brenden Archer who is in need of much…much…you guessed it…practice 😊)